“If it was cheaper, would you go?”
“Not the way it is. I mean, the geeks, freaks, and uniques, like me, don’t feel welcome at prom. It’s a dance, but it could be so much more.”
“Like… I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it. Because nothing will ever change.”
He plasters on that fakey smile again. “What if I gave you a chance to make a change? Would you consider serving on the prom planning committee so the event would be more inclusive?”
“Are you serious?”
“It was suggested by the board. You don’t have to—”
“I’ll do it.”
I just realized that that very same excerpt is printed on the back of the book, but I'm going to keep it, as it's a great snapshot of both Azure's voice and the premise. Due to her vociferous complaints about the elitism and exclusivity of the proms that her high school has put on in the past, the school board (via Principal Gerardi) offers Azure the opportunity to serve on the committee in charge of planning her senior prom. And she takes it.
She ropes in her besties Luke and Radhika, even though Luke is busy with play rehearsals—Closets are for Mothballs, a musical that he is writing, directing, and starring in—and Radhika's parents don't want her doing something so "frivolous". Much drama ensues: Azure and Luke are both secretly in love with Radhika, Azure detests the one person who actually knows what she's doing on the committee, Luke's having problems with his brother, Azure's father has just started computer dating... and those are just the challenges introduced in the first few chapters!
As Luke and Azure take turns narrating, you get the story from both perspectives, as well as a closer look at their lives at home. Even though their voices alternate, Azure's voice is very definitely the more dominant of the two: but while their external conflicts are quite different, their internal realizations parallel each other closely.
She definitely dominates, and she's also much harder to like, mostly because her behavior is so hypocritical: she's supposedly hugely open-minded and stridently opposes People Judging Each Other, but she's very dismissive of people who have opinions different than her own, and she judges other people on the basis of their appearance on a regular basis. BUT, realizing that is a big part of her personal journey.
Even though my gut instinct urged me to shake her on a regular basis, I did enjoy Azure on a more intellectual level: it's awesome that we're seeing more and more gay teen characters who're written as actual, three-dimensional people, with both strengths and weaknesses. Yes, she's a pain in the neck, but she's also passionate and bright, creative and loyal. Some readers won't want to stick with her (and the rest of the book) long enough to see her make that connection (not to mention how prom pans out), but for those who are able get past her difficult nature, It's Our Prom will be a satisfying read along the lines of Laurie Halse Anderson's Prom.
But, you know: with burlesque.
Book source: ILLed through my library. This book was read for the 2012 Cybils season.