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Boy Proof

Review

Boy Proof

A
girl who calls herself Egg, wears a homemade cloak to school
everyday, and obsesses over sci-fi movies, is somebody who I
wouldn't expect to enjoy spending time with. Yet Egg's original
take on the world, combined with the emotional journey she
undergoes, makes BOY PROOF a fun and thought-provoking novel.


This is a character-driven book, centering on the first-person
narrator. Egg (aka Victoria Jurgen) has trouble relating to people.
Her weird trappings serve to shelter her from the difficulties and
heartbreak that go along with relationships. Although she gets
along well with her father, a mask maker and animatronic
specialist, she lives with her mother, a former actress who Egg
seems to have no respect for. Egg belongs to the sci-fi club at
school, but she remains aloof from the other members and takes care
not to call them friends. Her personal life consists of
photography, drawing, and dreaming about the stars of her favorite
movie, Terminal Earth. She seems to like it that way.


Until Max Carter moves to town. Immediately intrigued by Egg, he
offers her friendship and --- possibly --- something more. Egg is
attracted. Max shares so many of her interests, and she stumbles
across him in the most unlikely places. Unsure how to react,
however, she rebuffs him, and her moment to create a friendship
seems lost. A series of unrelated events eventually inspires Egg to
realize that unless she makes some changes, she's looking at a
lonely future.


Funny and creative, Egg is impossible not to like. The first-person
narration is very successful here, letting the reader compare how
others view Egg --- unfriendly and snobbish --- versus how she
really is inside, a mass of worry and doubt. Although most of the
book follows Egg's goals and dreams, at least one minor character
emerges as a person in her own right, rather than just a depiction
of how Egg views her. There are no terrible secrets in Egg's past,
and I found the story better for that --- many kids are lonely and
alienated just because they are, and Egg speaks well to the ways in
which an imaginative teenager can find that her interests make her
feel lost rather than bonding with others.


Even those who aren't sci-fi fans should enjoy this book; the
sci-fi aspect comes across as a vital part of Egg's personality
rather than an author indulging her own interest. Max didn't work
as well for me, however. Complete with glamorous past, he seemed
too perfect --- more like the friend or boyfriend Egg would have
imagined than a real person. I would have liked to have seen a few
flaws. And the book's ending wrapped things up a bit too neatly for
my taste.


These are minor problems, however. For readers who like books about
relationships and people transcending their own limitations as they
reach out to others, BOY PROOF is a great read.


   -











Reviewed by Paula Jolin on October 18, 2011

Boy Proof
by Cecil Castellucci

  • Publication Date: February 17, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763623334
  • ISBN-13: 9780763623333