Tag: Brendan Halpin

Review: Tessa Masterson WILL Go to Prom by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin

Posted March 6, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment


Rowena’s review of Tessa Masterson WILL Go to Prom by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin.

Main Character: Tessa, Luke
Love Interest: ??
Series: None

Lucas and Tessa’s friendship is the stuff of legend in their small Midwestern town. So it’s no surprise when Lucas finally realizes his feelings for Tessa are more than friendship and he asks her to prom. What no one expected, especially Lucas, was for Tessa to come out as a lesbian instead of accepting his heartfelt invitation. Humiliated and confused, Lucas also feels betrayed that his best friend kept such an important secret from him.

What’s worse is Tessa’s decision to wear a tastefully tailored tuxedo to escort her female crush, sparking a firestorm of controversy. Lucas must decide if he should stand on the sidelines or if he should stand by his friend to make sure that Tessa Masterson will go to prom.

This book was a surprising read for me. I went into it thinking that it was going to be a fluffy read but it wasn’t, not really. It was a book that made me stop and think. It made me evaluate the way that I treat others and the way that I want to be treated. While both Tessa and Luke drove me nuts in the book, I ended up liking their characters. I really felt that they learned a lot throughout this book and I enjoyed getting to know them. There were a few things that drove me crazy but I’m glad that I pressed through and kept reading.

Why wasn’t it okay for Luke to be mad at Tessa for not telling him that she was gay? I mean, was he supposed to read her mind? If they were best friends, why couldn’t she be up front with him? Why couldn’t she share this about herself with him? She didn’t have a lot of faith in him and in their friendship if she couldn’t trust him with this information. I get that it’s not something that you can just drop on something but they have been friends for YEARS, not once did she think he deserved the truth?

I would have sympathized with Tessa more if she would have come out and said something to Luke, instead of hurting him the way that she did. I guess when she instantly jumped to conclusions about what Luke was out telling everyone, it pissed me off. I mean, this is your best friend. You expected him to just know about you and give you the benefit of the doubt but you didn’t do the same for him? That was my big issue with Tessa’s thought processes. I wasn’t mad that she was gay, I wasn’t even mad that she turned Luke down. I was mad at how she just expected him to know everything about her when she didn’t tell him anything and then got mad at him for what she “thought” he was out saying or doing.

I mean, he’s heart broken because he had feelings for his best friend and when he comes clean about those feelings, she tells him she’s gay and just shrugs his feelings off. When we’re in her head, she doesn’t come across like she’s sorry that he’s hurt. She comes across as pre-occupied with the real Tessa coming out. She’s hid herself from everyone in her life and now she’s ready to come out and that’s all fine and dandy but you coming out of the closet came at the cost of your best friend’s heart. He misread everything about your friendship, he thought you felt the same way about him (and can you really blame him?) but he was wrong on all fronts and instead of being there for him, or bulldozing her way back into his life to be there for him, she was out shopping for a tux for prom. I didn’t get the feeling that she was worried about Luke and his broken heart…and it made me mad at her.

Then when she’s trying to come out to her parents, her brother comes in and spills the beans about everyone knowing about her buying the tux and going to prom with a girl and how Luke doesn’t look good and the first thing that comes to Tessa’s mind is, “OMG, I can just imagine what Luke is telling everyone.”

WTF? Seriously?

But then Luke goes and pisses me off too. He’s angry at Tessa for all the years of not coming clean about her sexuality and he’s angry because he’s heart broken but the way that he handled Tessa’s coming out at first, pissed me right off too. After all, Tessa was still his best friend. He cares for her and he’s likes her (like that too) but the way that he handled the situation of her buying two prom tickets made me want to kick him in the teeth. In the hallway, in the locker room. I wanted to kick him in the nads and make him cry like the baby he was.

His comments to the school newspaper writer made me want to punch him in the teeth because he came off as pathetic and stupid instead of, well, whatever he wanted to come off as.

The one person that I did adore was Danny. He was such a good brother to Tessa. He was generally a good person overall. He was the perfect brother and I applaud the way that he went after Luke the way that he did. The things he did were driven by love and I could never be mad at that. At first, Tessa was driven through the need to stop hiding and whoever got hurt because of that wasn’t really on her radar. Luke was driven by hurt and anger at Tessa which I didn’t agree with at all but Danny, Danny loved Tessa first and foremost and that was all that mattered to him. I adored that.

It was really surprising to see the way some of the people in the town reacted to Tessa’s coming out. The things that were said and the way that she was treated surprised and horrified me. While I didn’t agree with how selfish she was with Luke’s feelings, she didn’t deserve any of the treatment that she received from the people in town. I really grew to hate that stupid Jennifer hag with her pink lipstick. I wanted to beat the crap out of her.

There were a lot of things that happened in this book that drove me crazy. The way that both Tessa and Luke were so wrapped up in their own selves didn’t leave much to be desired but as the story progressed, I really fell into their stories. Tessa was a courageous young woman who needed her best friend to understand where she was coming and Luke reacted too fast to the hurt that came from having feelings for your best friend and then finding out that the person you trusted with every part of you didn’t trust you the same way. Seeing the two of them find their way was an interesting way to spend a few hours.

This book opened my eyes to loads of things and I really enjoyed the ride. This book had me all over the place, there were highs and there were lows but I enjoyed the overall story here. I thought both Franklin and Halpin did a great job of telling this story. It’s the first book that I’ve read that covers the whole coming out of the closet read and I’m glad that I read it. It opened my eyes to a lot of what’s going on in the news these days. All of the bullying, all of the it gets better stuff, I got a better understanding of it all and I’m glad for it.

..and that’s your scoop!

This book was received through NetGalley and is available from Walker and Company.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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