Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

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…

Title: Ask Again Later
Author: Liz Czukas
Publication date: March 11, 2014

There are some books that reminds me that I am an adult reading YA and that, technically, I am not the target audience of these books. Ask Again Later is one of those books.

Ask Again later is a parallel universe book. Heart, who doesn’t date, has plans to go to prom with friends. Calling themselves No Drama Prom-a (NDP) Crew, they’re going as a group rather than as dates. Then, in one day, Heart gets two invitations. The first is from Ryan, a friend who isn’t in NDP, and the second is more a favor for her brother, whose best friend Troy just got dumped and is now both heartbroken and prom-dateless.

Torn between both of the guys, neither of whom she like likes even if she did date, and her annoying friend Lisa, who constantly mentions that Heart is supposed to be part of NDP!!!11!!, Heart ends up in this book, which switches back and forth between the world in which she went with Ryan and the one in which she picks Troy.

Sorry, Lisa.

(Also, Lisa isn’t even mentioned as part of NDP when Heart rattles off the names to Ryan: Cassidy, Ally, Kim, Schroeder, Dan, Pat, and Neel. And she also says there are seven people, other than herself, so that’s the complete list. So I don’t know what Lisa’s all bent out of shape about.)

Now, that I think about it, a third section with Heart going with NDP could have been interesting. Although her date with Ryan kind of turns into that anyway. Even her date with Troy, since she spends a lot of time with her friends does. Which is fine, because they are her friends and why should she have to hang out with Troy’s friends the whole night?

I don’t care much about either way about Heart. She’s not all that interesting or as special as she think she is. Even her humor is forced. Indifference to a main character is a bad sign, but my problem with this book isn’t with Heart or either of her dates, it’s with Schroeder, Heart’s friend and prom partner. It’s cheaper to buy tickets pairs of tickets instead of two singles, so even though NDP is going as a group, they purchased tickets in pairs. Schroeder has a long-time crush on Heart (which is news to Heart, but not to anyone else). Logically he knows different, but in his mind, he’s built the whole thing up to Heart being his date. You know, even though NO DRAMA PROM-A. He’s actually a little creepy about it. Run, Heart!

He spends the whole night, in both universes, jealous over Heart and her boys. He was (apparently) okay with not dating her himself when Heart didn’t go out with guys, but now that she does have an actual date, he turns into a complete jerk.

If he can’t have her, no one can?

Heart doesn’t know he likes her, so what’s with the attitude? And even if she did know, it doesn’t mean she’s automatically going to go out with him. She has the right to make her own choices, and she has up until this point. It’s kind of ridiculous, but Heart’s made the CHOICE not to date out of fear of turning into her mother, a teen mom who left Heart, her brother, and their father when Heart was an infant.

It’s pretty obvious that this is the guy being set up for Heart, given that neither of the other guys are actually available, and since I didn’t like Schroeder, it was difficult for me to care what was happening even though I did enjoy reading about the dates, the Ryan date moreso than the drunk Troy one. Heart’s brother owes her big for that one, but I doubt she will ever be able to collect.

Ugh. I’m getting more annoyed just thinking about this whole thing than I did while I was reading it. Really, it’s not that bad. It’s just not good either. Worth reading? Eh. Probably not.

2 1/2 stars