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Truly Terrible (or Awesome?) Prom Themes Based on Books


Truly Terrible (or Awesome?) Prom Themes Based on Books

Ain’t no party like a Gatsby party because a Gatsby party don’t stop until at least two people are dead and everyone is disillusioned with the jazz age as a whole.
We were inspired by this Barnes & Noble’s blog post on fantastic prom themes inspired by books and so naturally we decided to come up with our own, but this time….with a bit of a twist. What books could inspire the worst prom (or best depending on our feelings about prom) of all time? Here are some ideas from our community:
Truly Terrible (or Awesome?) Prom Themes Based on Books

Delirium by Lauren Oliver“Love is A Disease” Theme

Inspired by: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Inspired by the book where love is a disease, we invite you to the most anti-love prom of all time! This prom will actually be held in a hospital and before entering everyone must receive their inoculations and flu shots. Dancing is allowed but only break up and “I’m single and fabulous!” songs will be played. Everyone must attend the dance without dates, no one is allowed to touch each other and all of the punch should taste bitter… like tears.


Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan“Dancing in the Dark” Theme

Inspired by: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Since the entire fantasy book takes place in a world without sunlight, this prom will be held entirely in the dark! Think of how much money you’re going to save on that dress because at this prom, no one will care what you’re wearing because literally no one will be able to see you! Fair warning though, at the end of the night we will turn the lights back on so make sure the person you showed up to the dance with is the person you end up with at the end. 😳

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green“The Okay-est Prom Ever” Theme

Inspired by: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Everything would be very average! Wear your THIRD best dress, grab the fourth cutest boy you see, and get ready for a night of mild fun. We’ll play the latest hits you hear over and over on the radio and please be sure to NOT let loose. Very light refreshments will be served and we’ll end the night by quietly walking home. No one will remember this prom the next day.

The Wrath and the Dawn“Hate Date” Theme

Inspired by: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
Inspired by Shahrzad‘s story of marrying the king she hates so she can kill him, this prom will require everyone to show up with someone they absolutely hate. Not only could this be an interesting social experiment in breaking down barriers, but also just think of how much drama could unfold on the dance floor. People who don’t even like prom would show up just to watch all the shade being thrown.

“The Capitol” Theme

Inspired by: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is a really classy affair. Everyone must don their most absurd outfit, hairstyle and makeup look (bros, for your look we suggest you look to Caesar Flickerman for inspiration). All of the food will be served in a cornucopia and instead of voting for prom king and queen, at this Capitol-themed prom, anyone who wants to earn the crown must volunteer as tribute and then fight to the death, while everyone else watches!


“New York Shitty” Theme

Inspired by: Fragments by Dan Wells
High schools love throwing city-themed proms, but we think our New York City prom will be better than all the rest because this NYC prom will be inspired by the post-apocalyptic Manhattan wasteland as read about in Partials by Dan Wells! All of the furniture will be donated from the local salvage yard and decorations will be carefully curated from dumpsters around town and all of the food will just be expired canned vegetables and Spam. Oh and there will be no dancing at this prom because everyone will be too busy running for their lives from all the feral animals we’ll be releasing on the premises. Have fun!

“Come As Your Self Worth” Theme

Inspired by: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Everyone come to our Perks of Being a Wallflower prom! A truly magical night where everyone just sits against the wall, doesn’t talk to each other and no one goes home with anyone else because everyone accepts the love they think they deserve and everyone thinks they deserve to be alone because, high school. Oh! And The Smiths will be on repeat all night long for your brooding pleasure.


“Dance ‘Til You Drop” Theme

Inspired by: The Long Walk by Stephen King
This theme could rival The Hunger Games one, but we love it for it’s simplicity. Everything looks like your normal prom––no special outfits or decor or music––but everyone who comes to this prom are now entered into a competition where you must keep dancing…or you die. Everyone must keep moving and if you slow down, you get a warning. If you speed back up you’re warning is revoked. But if you get three warnings, a chaperone will shoot you in the head and even worse, your date might end up going home with someone else.

“The Red Wedding” Theme

Inspired by: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
This gorgeous prom will be all things red. Everyone must wear red, we’ll be serving delicious red foods like strawberries and red velvet cake, red punch will also be available (with or without the spike) and everything in the room––decor, carpet, curtains, flowers, etc––will all be a nice blood red color, which will make cleanup a breeze! And since this is a party, everyone will have an amazing time dancing and drinking until the signal is given and the junior class slaughters all of the seniors in a hostile takeover.

Other potential terrible prom ideas:

Carrie, of course!

Perhaps a variation on the classic, Under the Sea theme?

Historical costumes + bloodshed? We’re in!

This could be a good idea for all-boys high schools!

Still might smell better than a typical prom at the end of the night.

What other terrible prom ideas based on books can you think of? Share your best/worst ideas with us in the comments below!

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