Title – Boy Proof
Author – Cecil Castellucci
Publisher – Candlewick Press
Pages- 208 (paperback)
Published – August 8th 2006
6 May 2018
The idea of a novel set in high school is not original. Sometimes, books with this setting can seem repetitive and dull, without originality and often lacking a real story at their core. Though Cecil Castellucci’s ‘Boy Proof’ in set in school, I think that this does not drag it down as there is a fascinating driving-force that keeps the narrative compelling, this being the main character.
Victoria Jurgen, better known as simply Egg, is anything but unoriginal. This tale revolves around the development of her finding herself, in a place that she doesn’t fit in.
I really enjoyed Castellucci’s writing style. It’s quick and witty; never gets bogged down by purple prose and was probably why I read the novel so fast. I particularly liked her use of apocalyptic sounding news headlines at the start of chapters. This helped to characterise Egg’s world-view, especially that she seems to surround herself with drudgery to defend her general demeanour.
Though Egg was probably my favourite part of the novel, at least in concept, she was also what stopped me from loving this title. She is equal parts compelling and boring. At points, she was downright unbearable, as she seemed to constantly complain about everything. I know that her character development was one of the cornerstones of this story, but her whining and complaining got old fast. I wish that she had grown up earlier in the page count, so that we could see how she would act after this development, rather than it occurring right at the end of the book.
Another thing that I found problematic was the portrayal of female friendships. Egg falls guilty to the infuriating case of not being able to get along with other girls, only being able to mock them and see them as competition for male attention. I know that this book was written thirteen years ago when this may not have been such a hot topic, but its still remains infuriating and demeaning to a female audience.
Overall, this was a fun, quick read that I enjoyed at the time, but it will not leave a lasting impression, and I am very unlikely to re-read. I’ve seen this book on many lists of great, timeless YA literature, and to be honest I don’t get why.
So there it is, my review of ‘boy proof’ by Cecil Castellucci.
If you agree, disagree, have questions, or answers, please let me know in the comments down below. Also, if you loved this book and think it does deserve all the praise, I’d love to hear why!
That’s all from me for now, until next time, Happy Reading!