Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Prom Dress was the very first Point book I ever read or bought and I still have my original copy. It’s still stamped inside, saying I bought it from the book fair on March 4, 1990. I re-read it recently and I could swear there was a segment with a girl who was a singer and got hurt, but that must be another book. I even remembered her singing while sitting in the drive through lane, so maybe I’m losing my mind.

All right so Prom Dress starts with Robin who’s like the perfect girl. She’s a dancer, has a great looking and rich boyfriend Tyler, loves her sister Gabby and has the best life ever! Except that she has to work for old Miss Catherine, who has a terrible scar running down the side of her face. The family doesn’t have much money and Robin’s freaking out over getting a dress for the dance club (team?)’s performance of the Charleston, plus trying to afford a prom dress. Because you know, Tyler won’t like her if she can’t afford a dress. She needs to watch that episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack buys Kelly a prom dress.

She tells Miss Catherine about the performance and the lady kindly offers her a dress that she once wore. Robin runs up to the attic and finds two dresses for the performance, along with a “gorgeous” dress that would be “perfect for prom”. Now I know the 80s were a wild time, but this dress so wasn’t perfect. It has a high neck, is ivory and has buttons all down the front plus long sleeves. Sounds more like a wedding dress.

She asks the old lady for the dress and she refuses because hello, she just gave her two dresses, one for her and one for her friend. Actually it’s because her sister threw acid in her face when she wore the dress to her own prom. Turns out her sister Rowena had a horrible birthmark and all the guys ignored her. She fell in love with this guy Michael and Catherine stole him for the dance. Kind of sounds like she got what she had coming.

So Robin steals the dress anyway and wears it to her prom, right after learning that she got a dance scholarship (seriously) to some fancy college. She swears the dress is talking to her right before she’s named Prom Queen. Walking onto the stage, the throne somehow lands on her feet. She wakes up in the hospital and discovers that she may never walk again.

Felicia’s a nurse in the hospital who’s almost engaged to a seminary student named Mark. She has some fancy dinner at the dean’s house and can’t afford a dress. Then she sees the Prom Dress and can’t get it out of her mind. She swears the dress is talking to her so she steals it out of Robin’s room.

The night of the party she dons the dress and everyone loves her. Then the dress starts tightening on her, to the point where she can’t breath so she runs into the bathroom. She thinks she’s suffocating so she yanks off the dress and stuffs it in a bag she finds in the bathroom. Then she borrows clothes from the dean’s wife and escapes out the window.

The party goers see her leaving and start chasing her so she jumps on a bus. Then she discovers that the wife left her best peal earrings, ring and necklace in the bag. She ends up ditching the bag and making up some story about a robber making her leave with them.

Nicole’s on the bus on her way to some academic decathlon thing. She’s got the hots for her teacher, but he can’t notice her because she’s only in high school. She finds the dress and decides to take it for the big party before the event starts. Of course she looks fantastic and the teacher’s all tripping over himself to tap the ass of his 17 year old student. Then, uh-oh, she thinks the owner of the dress is following her so she runs off. A bust falls off its pedestal and whacks her in the head. She wakes up with complete amnesia, not remembering a thing.

Felicia and Robin discuss the dress and Felicia says it took the most important thing from each girl. It took Robin’s feet, Nicole’s brain and her integrity. She tries to convince the other girl to burn the dress, but she’s all “we can’t do that! I stole it and I have to make things right!” Robin tells her sister to put the dress away and not even look at it, but she can’t help noticing how her sister’s totally checking out her boyfriend. Turns out that good old Gabby has a big old crush on Tyler.

Robin gets out of the hospital and has Gabby wheel her chair over to Miss Catherine’s so she can give it back. Oopsie though, old lady Catherine already knows what she did and taunts her because Gabby actually stole the dress! In fact, she’s about to wear it out to some piano recital thing with Tyler. Robin also finds out that Catherine is actually Rowena!

Are we almost done yet? Apparently Rowena scarred her sis, went to the nuthouse, came out, killed her sis and set a fire. Then she attacked her face and took on the identity of her dead sis. Robin, with two hip length casts climbs up a small flight of stairs to stop her sister before she passes out. Turns out that Tyler didn’t like Gabby wearing the dress, Gabby felt uncomfortable and was going back to change when they saw Robin passing out. Rowena/Catherine gets locked up, Tyler pledges his love and it’s a happy ending.

In the epilogue, a woman buys all the contents of the house and *gasp* finds the prom dress. At her store, another young girl wants to buy it but she doesn’t have any money. The book ends with the dress whispering to her and her shoplifting it.

This is obviously a case where the book was better in my mind. I’d love to compare it to something else from Lael Littke, but I don’t know if she did any other Point books. Plus this one is so old that Point Thrillers didn’t even exist yet so it’s just a Point book. I swear though, if the book told me one more time about how great Robin’s legs were, I was going to scream…or hurl.


  1. So the best thing about Robin is her feet, but Nicole has integrity/heart? Snicker.

  2. I'm pretty sure I watched a movie with this exact plot, except that the dress in question caused good things to happen, not terrible.

  3. It didn't take much to lose her integrity either! I think it was 2 days before she stole the dress. And Robin is an awesome dresser, they tell us that 700 times lol.

  4. I know this is an old entry, but I had to comment, because I was JUST thinking about this book the other day! Crazy. Anyway, if the cover's any indication, that's one frumpy dress the girls are losing it over.

  5. I know Emily! I was reading the description in the book and trying to figure out why the heck any girl would want to wear that dress to her prom!

  6. Ok i love this book i spoted it well my friend at the school libaray and signed it out from there i borrowed it and read it and had to buy my own copy its amazing the things Rowena did to Catherine and how Rowena was making all the pretty girls pay for her birth mark starting with Robin and Rowena cursed every stitch of the dress you forgot to mention my mother had this book i found out today so now i have copy since she gave to me there should be a movie on this book :)

  7. OMG. I remembered that I picked this book up last year and started to read it, in class because my L.A. teacher had it in her classroom libary. Weird. I didn't finish it so at least now I know what happened.
    That dress is U-G-L-Y!!! Why would someone want to wear that?

  8. The story of the 'Poison Dress' (in which a young girl buys/steals/receives a beautiful dress that then kills her because it was either poisoned or stolen off the body of a corpse and the embalming fluid killed her) may be partially the inspiration for this.

    I also think there was an episode 'Friday the 13th' that had a similar motif (I can't think of am ovie hwoever)

  9. I always thought this was nice and creepy, but I think I did re-read it recently-ish and yeah, it wasn't quite as stellar.