Books: Boy Proof

>> Friday, February 24, 2006

Cecil Castellucci - Miss Cecil Castellucci, if you're keeping score at home - belongs to one of the same young adult author listservs I subscribe to. It was her distinctive name that caught my eye when I saw Boy Proof on the Lexington Joseph-Beth shelves, but it was the first few pages of the book that made the sale.

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 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. 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.


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