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Deacon Locke Went to Prom

Review

Deacon Locke Went to Prom

DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM is the hilarious story of what happens when --- you guessed it --- Deacon Locke goes to senior prom. Except he doesn’t just go to prom like a regular teenager, he goes with his grandmother. Deacon is both awkward and shy and can’t imagine asking any of the girls (or rather the girl) he knows, and wouldn’t even think of asking a girl he doesn’t, so he goes with the next choice: his grandmother and guardian, Jean. She never got to go to her senior prom, so Deacon figures that they’ll get their night to remember together. However, he doesn’t expect anything that happens next, like meeting Soraya Shadee, who goes to a neighboring high school, at Jean’s insistence, taking dance classes, or he and his date going viral the night of prom. Soon Deacon’s dealing with popularity and chasing Soraya, too --- and dealing with both at the same time certainly isn’t easy, especially for Deacon, who isn’t familiar with or prepared for either.

"Humor clearly comes naturally to Katcher....[DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM] is light and humorous, with quirky and unique characters who grow and mature over the course of the story, and endear themselves to the reader in the process."

Brian Katcher’s novel is a cute read for the summer months that deals with both romance and taking responsibility for one’s actions. The best way to describe the main character, Deacon, would be endearing. His awkwardness and host of insecurities are hilarious and relatable, and readers will easily see a little bit of themselves in Deacon. On top of his worries, he carries a witty and slightly sarcastic voice that buoys the story with small bites of humor sprinkled throughout his narration that poke fun at his awkward character and occasionally ridiculous actions. Deacon is insecure, but also confident enough to laugh at himself, a paradox that leaves the reader wishing he would open up to others and show off his likeable personality. The humor clearly comes naturally to Katcher --- in addition to Deacon’s own sense of humor, the author adds little comments of his own at the end of some chapters, a neat touch that gives the book its own quirky style.

Deacon’s relationship with Jean is also one of the best parts of the story. The reader gets to see the deep bond in their unconventional family as well as the realistic difficulties of Jean aging, both of which challenge Deacon as a character.

Soraya was also a likeable character, but it would have been nice to see more of her backstory explored, rather than just alluded to, as this would have helped add depth to her character. While the romance between Soraya and Deacon seems a little bit instant, falling head over heels at first sight seems like something Deacon would do, which makes it a bit more believable. However, Katcher does flesh out their relationship in the second half of the story. Katcher also does do a fantastic job of developing Deacon as a character: the reader sees the conflicts between Deacon’s hopes and reality as he has to come to terms with issues he has avoided and learn to stand up for himself.

Overall, Katcher’s story is light and humorous, with quirky and unique characters who grow and mature over the course of the story, and endear themselves to the reader in the process. Anyone looking for a contemporary novel with dashes of ordinary high school life mixed with a whole lot of the extraordinary will find that DEACON LOCKE WENT TO PROM meets all their expectations. 

Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member on July 27, 2017

Deacon Locke Went to Prom
by Brian Katcher