Publishers Weekly Review
Title aside, Katcher's multifaceted novel is about more than a school dance, delving into discrimination, dementia, and the perils of online fame. Deacon Locke, who has never gone on a date or been kissed, waits too long to ask out potential prom dates, so he opts to take Jean, his grandmother and primary parental figure, since she missed her own prom decades ago. Deacon's classmates find his decision adorable, and video clips of him and Jean dancing at prom go viral. Meanwhile, Deacon summons the courage to ask out Soraya, a Muslim dance instructor he meets while taking lessons with Jean, and soon has his first girlfriend. Amid the level of small-time celebrity Deacon achieves because of the video (including agreeing to participate in a Dancing with the Stars-type show after graduation), Katcher (The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak) explores the pitfalls of Internet notoriety and the vicious, sometimes racist commentary that can come with it-with Soraya caught in the crossfire. Although the story looks directly at some of humanity's uglier tendencies, Deacon's entertaining commentary keeps the overall tone thoughtful, upbeat and hopeful. Ages 13-up. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-When Deacon Locke can't find a date for the senior prom, he decides to invite his grandmother Jean, who missed her own prom because her date (Deacon's grandfather) was serving in the Vietnam War. Deacon has never been able to depend on his fly-by-night father, and his mother isn't in the picture: Jean, with whom he has been living for the past two years, has been the sole rock in his life. When a video of the unlikely couple dancing at the prom goes viral, awkward, loner Deacon experiences his first taste of popularity. As he looks toward the future, he grapples with his newfound celebrity; pursues a relationship with his dance instructor, Soraya; and realizes that Jean may be dealing with dementia. While Deacon occasionally comes off as insensitive when it comes to race and gender ("The non-politically-correct part of my mind wonders if [Soraya] has an exotic accent"), he grows and develops as he learns of the bigotry that Soraya, who is Muslim, has confronted. The plot is somewhat predictable in places (Soraya and Deacon's relationship is temporarily derailed when another suitor asks Soraya out right before Deacon can), and characterizations are a little thin. However, Deacon's wryly self-deprecating voice will resonate with readers, and Katcher's commentary on Internet fame rings true. Teens will enjoy this light but touching tale of maturation. VERDICT Those seeking coming-of-age stories with a bit of romance will be pleased with this quick, heartfelt read.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Almost seven feet tall and terminally awkward, Deacon has never been to a school dance. But the senior prom is coming up, and he reluctantly decides to go. Unfortunately, the girl he wants to ask is already taken. Bummer. But then he has a brainstorm: he'll invite his best friend wait for it his grandmother Jean! Happily, she says yes, and Deacon agrees to take dance lessons, where he meets the beautiful Soraya, whom he begins to date. But first Deacon and Jean go to the prom, and videos are taken of them dancing and posted on the Internet. The clips go viral, and suddenly Deacon and Jean are famous. Deacon is even invited to become a contestant on TV's Celebrity Dance-Off. Happy days? Maybe. Yes, Deacon and Soraya are dating, but Jean seems to be losing her memory. And fame has a dark side. How will Deacon handle all of this? Readers will care about the answer because Deacon is an appealing, empathetic character, and Katcher's story is always compelling. Shall we dance?--Cart, Michael Copyright 2017 Booklist