Tuesday Side Dishes 2.20.07
New York Times Examines "Lucky" Again

"When I Was a Loser" + "Boy Proof"

Maud Newton mentions a new anthology called When I Was a Loser, which consists of essays about high school. Maud has a piece in the book, a must-get as I am such a fan of John Hughes movies, "My So-Called Life," and other documentation of high-school travails.

Speaking of high school, after hearing so many good things about Cecil Castellucci's writing, I finally read her young-adult novel Boy Proof last weekend. Through her main character, Castellucci captures the painful self-consciousness of teenagers well. A bright sci-fi fan and the only child of divorced parents, Victoria, a.k.a. Egg, has barricaded herself behind a shell of defensiveness: she's shaved her head, she pecks at her friends,  and most of all, she's afraid to embrace what (and whom) she loves. Egg is also quite funny and observant, and a cool new classmate named Max also sees beyond her "boy proof" exterior.

An excerpt from the novel, which is narrated by Victoria/Egg, a high-school senior:

Here is something really weird. I love taking pictures for the school newspaper.

"I've got the contact sheet here, Nelly," I say, just to hear myself say something out loud. My voice cracks a bit from being unused all day long. Earlier today I took a vow of silence.

"Drop them in the box, Egg. You know the routine," Nelly says. She smiles at me. She pushes her glasses up on her pretty button nose.

My GPA is higher than hers.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cecil Castellucci's terrific novel, and the  Hollywood setting and science fiction plot points added to the book's appeal. If Egg were a real person instead of a fictional character, I even think she could have contributed to the anthology Maud Newton was talking about.

See also: Bookshelves of Doom.


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Ooooh, I LOVED Boy Proof!

I sat down to read it and got so involved with the story that I didn't get up until I finished the book!

Yeah, I heard Cecil read some of her stuff at a SCBWI retreat a few years ago, and I thought, Holy cow! This lady can write!


Next up for me is "The Queen of Cool." Can't wait!

If you like John Hughes movies, you should probably pick up Don't You Forget About: Contemporary Authors on the Films of John Hughes, which comes out next week, too.

What! What! Awesome! Thanks, Lurker--that sounds like another must-have. Maybe even a new post.

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