I read this book in two sittings. I could not put it down and already have plans to reread it. What blew me away most was that after reading it, I discovered it was Castellucci's first published novel. The level of skill and insight in this debut novel truly astounds me. Often, authors I enjoy - even those I consider gifted writers - disappoint me in some of their writing and usually in their earlier stuff. I have now read all of Castellucci's novels, graphic novels and some short fiction and I think it is all excellent. But Boy Proof is my new favorite.
This is the story of a girl named Egg. She named herself that after her favorite character from a Science Fiction movie, Terminal Earth. She believes she has life all figured out and she prefers not to have to interact with other people, or if she does, only on her terms. She has a shaved head, piercings and painted- on eyebrows. She is cold and frosty and keeps people at a distance. Her mother came up with the term but she likes it and owns it - she has made herself 'boy proof'. But then Max Carter shows up at her school, and her life is turned upside down.
The story captures some of the angst of being alone in a crowd, of putting on a front so as not to be vulnerable, and open to being hurt. It also is a story of self-discovery, of finding your place in the world, finding out who you are and what you want to do with your life. It is the first book in Cecil Castellucci's 'LA Trilogy'. Each of the three books explores a different element of life in and around Los Angeles, one focusing on movies and film, one on science and one on music, each set in and around a different neighborhood in the city. This is an amazing book and would make a great movie. But as a piece of the whole, in the trilogy it is even better. So read it and find out what Egg discovers about herself, and about life.