It's Our Prom by Julie Anne Peters

Today we’ll be looking at It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It) by award-winning author Julie Anne Peters.

Let’s look at what Julie does to hook us in the first few paragraphs.

The Page

There must be an epidemic of flu or cold virus going around, because when I walk into my last class I see Mr. What’s-His-Sub, the same guy I had in third period.  He says, “Your teacher didn’t leave any lesson plans, so you use this time as a study hour.”  Good idea.  I pull out my cell and scroll through my pics from Friday night.

We made our usual entrance to the theater, walking down the side aisle all the way to the front.  As we crossed the curtain, Luke and I waved to people in the audience, while Radhika shielded her eyes as if she didn’t know us.  People turned to see who we were waving to, which was hilarious because we didn’t know anyone.  Then the three of us climbed the steps to the back row and scooted in with our tub of popcorn and supersized Icee to share.  Luke plopped down next to Radhika, so I stepped over them to sit on the other side of her. I still remember the first whiff of her jasmine-scented shampoo, and how my breath caught.

Why It Works

Julie always does an amazing job of creating realistic teen characters and scenarios. We know  immediately from the chapter head that we’ll have alternating chapters and she deftly weaves in the names of the three characters on this first page. We know they’re close friends by the way the head to the same row and have their wave and laugh gag. We like them already and want to follow them wherever they go.

And then we have that last line:

I still remember the first whiff of her jasmine-scented shampoo, and how my breath caught.

Hoo boy. Could the line be anymore enticing? We’ve got some kind of romantic angle going on from the get-go. I definitely want to turn the page to find out more!

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