Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
Tessa and Lucas have been best friends ever since ... well, pretty much always. They've been inseparable since childhood, and know everything about each other. Or do they? Now it's senior year; she's a runner, he's a star pitcher with an athletic scholarship in the bag, and they both work for Tessa's parents at their mom-and-pop grocery store, one of the last surviving locally owned businesses in their small Midwestern town. Everything is going great, until Lucas gets it in his head that he and Tessa are destined to become more than just friends. When he stages a grand romantic (and very public) gesture to ask her to the prom, his plan backfires in a big way. Tessa breaks the news that she would rather take a girl to the prom, and the whole town goes wild. For some reason, what people really can't live with is the fact that Tessa plans to wear a custom-fitted tuxedo to the event. Rather than have the prom tradition “desecrated” in this way, the school plans to cancel it -- a prospect which leads just about everybody at school to turn against Tessa in fury. How dare she be so selfish as to steal their prom from them?
Alternating chapters by the two co-authors tell the story from Tessa's and Lucas' points of view. Both characters relate the unfolding drama in the town, but each one also takes the reader along on a personal journey, as both Lucas and Tessa come to grips with what it really means to be true to yourself and to your friends. You will get to know and love Tessa and Lucas, cheering them on all the way through to the sparkling, cinematic ending.
Sarah Trowbridge is a public librarian in the Southeastern United States. She's an ally to the queer community, and reads this blog regularly. She blogs at Addicted To Story.