on May 14, 2006
Here, finally, is a book for weird and nerdy girls: girls who like sci-fi, cut their hair short, and take pride in their intelligence and academic success. Protagonist Victoria - who calls herself "Egg" after a Matrix-like movie character - is just a little too weird though, pushing away even those she might actually call friends. Where some weird girls wave geek flags, Egg weilds a geek lightsaber.
Enter the cool-as-hell new boy at school. He's artsy, smart, well-connected, and wears a Hellblazer t-shirt. He speaks truth, draws insightful editorial cartoons, studies his fellow students, and makes Egg oddly jealous when he starts dating a cuter, less-nerdy girl. How has she let someone - and a boy of all things - get under her skin?
As Yoda once said, "Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering," and sure enough, Egg's angst manages to repel the very last of the people who care about her. And just as Victoria, nee Egg, begins to seek their companionship, too. It all resolves rather nicely, though: in a book about accepting your inner geek, it's nice that the conclusion doesn't involve Egg capitulating - just compromising. A little.
Boy Proof is good stuff, and sure to be enjoyed by girls who don't have a pink shirt in their closet - unless it's a pink Mrs. Picard shirt from FeNerd.
on March 16, 2005
I just finished Boy Proof. It was such fun to read and I have to say I was impressed at the ending. I found myself thinking a lot about someone I knew in high school at the beginning of the story, and then more and more about myself and about high school in general and how people try or refuse to try to fit in. I also liked that Victoria, too, needed to find herself. I liked that her parents were nice people, neither of them villains. It seems like that happens a lot in fiction these days. And Max's comment about finding it easy to make friends, but not necessarily keep them was very intriguing. He was such a great character! So alive that I can't forget about him even now that the book is closed.
on April 12, 2007
Boy Proof is the story of high school senior Victoria Jurgen, who prefers to be called "Egg." Victoria/Egg is an unabashed geek, and self-selected social outcast. She dresses in a long white cloak and shaves her head, in homage to her favorite movie character, Egg from the science fiction adventure Terminal Earth. She sits by herself at lunchtime and reads. Her only school participation is in the Science Fiction club and as the photographer for the school paper. She's very bright, and accustomed to doing well in school, with a particular interest in World History, but she's not very good with people.
Egg considers herself "Boy Proof". She deliberately makes herself unattractive, wearing baggy clothing and no make-up, and genuinely believes herself to be invisible. Imagine her surprise when a new student, the handsome and popular Max Carter, starts to pay attention to her. She resists his friendship, but is eventually drawn in by the things that they have in common. The two soon share a bond, but things are complicated by Max's decision to date another, more conventional, girl.
I love Egg. She's smart, talented, and funny, but she's also insecure, and sometimes downright mean to other people. I cringed for her at times, and wanted to scold her at others (she's particularly harsh to a perfectly nice girl from the Science Fiction club who just wants to be her friend, and to her mother). But through it all, I identified with her, and wanted her to succeed.
Egg is refreshingly unique, and impossible to forget. I especially like the fact that she's not conventional, and not afraid to go her own way, despite the pressures of high school. I think that anyone who has ever felt that sense of otherness while in school will be able to relate to Egg on one level or another. I was sorry to see the book end, because I would have liked to spend more time with Egg (though Castellucci certainly wraps things up in a satisfying manner). Highly recommended for kids 13 and up, especially girls and/or sci-fi buffs.
This book review was originally published on my blog, Jen Robinson's Book Page, on April 11, 2007.
on October 16, 2015
I really enjoyed this book a lot. Good character development throughout the book. Although the story was simple and a bit predictable, it was perfect for a YA reader. I enjoy books that allow me to peer into the psyche of an outsider and know what they might be thinking. I enjoyed being transported into this girl's world and see things from her perspective. I felt for her, and that's important to me in a novel. Great read!
on July 28, 2013
This was a very quick, easy read. I finished it in just a few hours. I definitely have mixed feelings about it.
The writing style and portrayal of the main character's thoughts and feelings seemed a bit disjointed or choppy or awkward. I'm not sure if this was intended or not.
I could definitely relate to some of Egg's conflicting feelings of wanting to be invisible vs wanting to be noticed. And about feeling boy proof (though unlike her, I don't intentionally try to make this happen) And I do enjoy characters who are quirky or eccentric; those characters who are off-the-beaten-path so to speak.
I wish there was a creature shop I could hang out at with my dad. AWESOME.
With that being said, Egg's arrogance became a major turn-off as did her rudeness towards others. After a while the references to Terminal Earth get a bit redundant. You do see a transition or growth in Egg's character from start to end which is important, and the interactions between Egg and the boy interest Max are enjoyable. I found Max in general to be quite enjoyable.
"There is no easy way from the earth to the stars."
"I haunt the hallways like a broken spirit."
Bottom Line: Not great, not terrible. Worth reading for only $1.99. 3/5 "stars"
on June 8, 2005
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 6, 2011
Great story, seamlessly told. All the relationships were dead-on, especially the protagonist's relationship with her mother. The author pulled off the tricky feat of having the protagonist act in self-destructive and frustrating ways (out of insecurity, fear, shame etc.) and yet rather than get annoyed with her, the reader sympathizes with and hopes for her. It's a subtle technique and absolutely integral to the success of the narrative. An honest, moving, and memorable tale of adolescence.
on March 1, 2005
Note: I may have accidentally posted this two times due to my lack of intellegence.
I'm a big reader,and book after book I would read directed toward preteens would be a girl trying to fit in normally to accept her. This book however was a girl totally accepted herself. This book makes you think. A LOT.
Egg, the main charecter, is an incredibly intellegent girl. She gets perfect grades and really that's all that's important to her. This nerd is totally obsessed with her favorite movie star Egg. She thinks she knows everything, and everything is pretty perfect for her too. Though the problem is she has never let anyone love her.
To popular girls, geeky girls, boyish girls, girls that have ever felt out of place. Not sure weather to get it? GET IT.
on November 27, 2006
Victoria "Egg" Jurgen is a loner and she likes it that way. Dressed in her long white cloak, with a shaved head and drawn-in eyebrows, she doesn't talk to people and doesn't want people to talk to her. Her look and attitude cause her to be "boy proof," according to her mother. Egg's unique style is fashioned after her favorite character from the movie Terminal Earth, which she has seen multiple times and as many as four times in one day. Egg refers to herself as a cinephile. She loves the film industry, especially the Sci-Fi world.
Egg considers herself the smartest person at her school and feels Valedictorian is pretty much in the bag. That is until Max shows up in her AP classes. Egg's first impression of Max is that he stinks, literally. The only thing she likes about him at all is his t-shirt that has the name of one of her favorite comic books on it. Max seems to be everywhere. He is a wonderful artist and joins the school's newspaper where Egg acts as a photo journalist. Getting to know Max turns out to be a life-changing experience for Egg.
As senior year progresses, Egg becomes more involved in activities that put her in contact with people. She learns what it means to be a friend and how important it is to have them in your life. She realizes that people aren't always as they seem and that being perfect isn't necessary for happiness. Egg learns a lot in one year's time; even how to leave Egg behind and become simply Victoria.
Cecil Castellucci has written a thoughtful story about the sensitive time in every young adult's life - self-discovery. Written in first person, this novel launches you into Egg's world and leaves you feeling as though you are experiencing life through her eyes. The reader will sympathize with the ups and downs of the typical teenage angst that Victoria goes through in order to, once and for all, decide what it really takes for her to be happy.
Reviewed by: Karin Perry
on June 2, 2005
The most frustrating thing about Castellucci's arresting first novel is that every reader will know its hero, Victoria, the girl named Egg. She is such a real person that you want nothing more than to have her reach the book's ending intact. She is a completely unique yet totally relatable character, which makes her plight genuine; but she's also all Egg, and Boy Proof is HER story, that's for damn sure. This novel reads wonderfully, leading the reader on a tour of the streets and venues of Hollywood, which are vivid and wonderfully realized. The cumulative effect is that of an "off the beaten path" tour by someone who really knows, and totally adores, this setting. The story curls around geeky fanboys, aging sci fi starlets, and brilliant do-gooders. And stuck in the middle is Egg, fragile, funny, and too smart for her own good. After reading Boy Proof you are left with a warm, fuzzy feeling, and the nugget of truth that everybody has a bit of Egg in them. Bring on Castellucci's next!