Thursday, March 6, 2014

[Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas]

"Ask Again Later"
Author: Liz Czukas
Series: None
Pages: 336
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Date Published: March 11th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


 Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Ask Again Later,

First off, you get one of the funniest open letter titles yet.  So thanks for having a name like yours.  Guess we make quite a team.  Also, thanks for all the laughter.  I enjoy a good laugh and you really pulled out all the stops on that front.  Also for a book that only really took place on one night, you did a good job with the cute, swoony, slow burn romance.  Well done, book, well done.  I think your efforts for being awesome should be confirmed with an epic slow clap, of which I will start right now...

-The White Unicorn

Ask Again Later is the stuff that dreams and nightmares are made of.  No, not devil baby nightmares, but the ones where you're naked in front of your class, giving a speech and everyone else is wearing clothes, nightmares.  Yes, the funny kind.  Pretty much everything about this book was a riot and just a all around good time.  Czukas knows how to deliver humor like a champ.  She infuses her story with all the correct elements: snark, awkward situations and a world that is out to derail Heart's perfect prom night.  She gets just how unsettling a night like prom can be and then expands on that idea.  Yep, she just goes ahead and doubles the fun.  Giving us, not one, but two horrendous prom nights.

Yes, this book is "let's make Christianna laugh uncontrollably and loudly in pubic so people stare" funny, but it's also wonderfully clever.  Heart's friend asks a Magic 8 ball which guy Heart should go to prom with and when the piece of plastic fails by telling them to ask again later, she takes things into her own hands and depends on a coin to tell her what to do.  Maybe the whole point is that we shouldn't trust inadament objects with life decisions?  Anyway, this gives Czukas the perfect tool to tell Heart's story.  It bounces us back and forth between Heart's night as it would go if she picked Troy and what her night would be like if she picked Ryan.  Both give us so many awkward moments that it works out great for the reader.  

Oh, the awkward moments.  Heart sure does get into her fair share of them in both scenarios.  Broken zippers, girl fights, water wars, broken cars, crazy boys and much more end up happening to her on the night that she thought was going to be epic.  She thought things were going to be simple when she decided to go with her friend group, but these two, very different boys come on the scene and throw everything off course.  You have to feel for her.  It was interesting to see a girl who didn't want to date in a contemporary novel.  It made Heart as unique as her name and honestly created more trouble for her than all the trouble that she thought it would save her.  She was a relatable heroine with enough of a sense of humor that you didn't find her annoying or full of self pity.  She grabbed the odd adventure that was her prom, by the reins, and just went for it.  You gotta love a girl like that.

I loved that Heart's group of friends were used in both story lines.  In fact the whole cast showed up in both versions of the night.  I loved that.  Also, there was this really sincere and awesome slow burn romance.  This book takes place over one night.  I don't know how Czukas did it, but she made the romance seem nothing like the horrid thing called insta-love.  So BRAVO!  Schroeder was adorable and the best guy ever.  Hello, new book boyfriend.  Okay, so he needed to speak up, but other then that, he's a winner in my book!  I mean, just shut up and kiss her already.  Am I right, or am I right?  (Sorry to those of you that haven't read this yet and have no idea what I'm talking about...)

If you've ever had a prom night that was out to get you, if you've never gone to prom but want to know what could/could have happened, or if you just want a grand laugh at the expense of some awesome characters, Ask Again Later is the right book for you!

       4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!


Little Miss Becky said...

This sounds so fun! Sometimes I crave a book that is just fun and can make me crack up, so I think I'll keep this in mind for the next time I need it!! Thanks for the great review!

Ashley said...

YES! I am been wanting a really funny book and this sounds like it will be perfect! No insta-love either :)

Ashley @ The Quiet Concert