Book: Ditched: A Love Story
Author: Robin Mellom
Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Publisher and netgalley
My grade: A+++
High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.
Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.
Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together — stain by stain on her thrift-store dress — exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag's moving car...
But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.
Filled with humor, charm, and romance, Ditched: A Love Story by debut novelist Robin Mellom will have readers dreaming of love on their own prom nights.
I LOVED this book! Seriously. L. O. V. E. D. it!! This book was like a John Hughes movie put into a book. And I was a serious John Hughes movie junkie back in the day. Yes, I saw Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Pretty in Pink all in the movie theatre. (Yes, that makes me old. And don’t judge me! )
First, there is the structure of this book. We start at the end of the night, when poor Justina finds herself in a ditch on the side of the road after prom and we need to figure out how she got there. A total mystery. Nothing but a girl in a bad dress with even worse shoes ( and they are dyed to match the dress!! Total 80’s link there! Mine were dyed red my junior year.). Her dress is covered in stains, she has no purse, no phone, nothing but a bunch of stains, a Tinker Bell tattoo and some strange bruises and bite marks. Yes, bite marks.
So she makes it to the 7-11 down the street and starts telling her story to the store clerk and a sympathetic woman customer. I loved the way the story was interspersed with the details of what was going on in the convenient store. And the commentary from the 2 women was laugh out loud funny.
Of course, Justina spins this ridiculously funny yarn of a prom night from hell that just keeps going from bad to worse. It’s embarrassing, it’s cringe-worthy, it’s sad, it’s infuriating and it’s endearing. Yes, it’s all of those things. Sound like Sixteen Candles yet?
Even though it had that John Hughes feel to it, I never felt like the author was ripping off those movies. Rather, I felt like this was an original plot that captured that awkwardness of the teen years but turned out ok in the end. Because we all know that Jake Ryan shows up after the wedding to get Samantha, right?
There was no Jake Ryan (swoon!) in this book, but there was Ian Clarke! He was so wonderful! Justina keeps referring to him as a Professional Boyfriend and my goodness, is she ever on target! He is a dream guy! I just know he’s so cute and so wonderful in that boy next door sort of way.
(I totally picture David Henrie as Ian Clarke! A little geeky but totally cute! And notice the resemblance to Jake Ryan!)
There were the pictures in this book as well. Hysterical pictures! Each time she explained one of the stains on the dress, or a bruise, there was an accompanying visual of the dress or her hand or shin to give the reader the exact image of what was being discussed. It was brilliant.
I cannot rave about this book enough! It was funny, clever, tender and endearing. It will resonate with teens and those who have ever been teens. God, I can remember many of those same moments myself and I still witness them in my classroom! This book captured the craziness of being a teenager and spun a fantastic story that captured the essence of the teen years in one ridiculous prom night. It was sheer genius!
My grade for this book is an A+. Do yourself a favor and pre-order this one. You will not regret it! And Hollywood is crazy if they don’t pick this one up for a movie adaptation!
Many thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.