Boyproof

31 Oct

When Victoria watches the movie Terminal Earth for the very first time, she is blown away by the film’s badass heroine, Egg. So blown away in fact, that she goes back to watch the movie forty-seven times, dresses up in character every day, and insists she be referred to as ‘Egg’ instead of Victoria. In her new persona, she’s always in control and never cares what people think of her, especially not boys. She’s boyproof.

Boyproof, by Cecil Castellucci, follows Victoria’s – er Egg’s – adventures through the treacherous terrain of high school in Hollywood. Egg is so fiercely independent and unique that it makes her antagonistic: she answers to no one but herself and if you don’t like it, well that’s your own darn problem. But when a new boy moves to town and begins to push on Egg’s ideals and ideas she begins to wonder whether Egg is an ideal or a crutch, and what that means for her life in either case.

Egg is that girl from your high school class who wore weird clothes and probably walked around by herself – for the majority of the book she has a shaved head and wears a cloak. But she isn’t actually weird – in fact she one of the most relatable heroines I’ve come across. She feels uncomfortable in her body (she waits until everyone else has left the locker room before undressing for gym) and constantly shuffles between divorced and disconnected parents. The only thing she can control is her grades, but she’s failing trig. So she styles herself after a role model she sees as being everything she wishes she was: strong, beautiful, independent.

This book is about Egg’s – or rather Victoria’s – journey to define herself as a woman. Of course there’s a boy involved, and of course she must eventually leave Egg behind, but it is also about what happens when graduation arrives and it’s time to pick a place for yourself in the world. It’s about that awkward and often painful time when – to quote the immortal Britney Spears, you’re “not a girl, not yet a woman.” Sometimes it’s wonderful, but sometimes you have one of those days where you’re just mad at everybody. Sometimes you have arguments where you can’t make your point as clearly as you want. Sometimes you screw up royally and it’s hard to see your way out. We’ve all been there.

Boyproof earns an AJ from the PSA – Egg makes the same mistakes you did in high school, but she learns from them. She’s super funny and her first-person narrative is sharply honest. A quick, easy read, but Castellucci has a firm grasp of what high school can be like, for girls in particular.

PS. In other news, boys week next week!

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