Saturday, August 28, 2010

Boy Proof

Feeling alienated from everyone around her, Los Angeles high school senior and cinephile Victoria Jurgen hides behind the identity of a favorite movie character until an interesting new boy arrives at school and helps her realize that there is more to life than just the movies.

Just a quick review, I'm trying to coax myself into finishing a rather awful book.

I was in the library a few days ago, listening to music. While I was in there, I didn't intend to find another novel to read, but I seem to have book-magnets in my hands and I soon enough lay my fingers on this one. It's not science-fiction, for a change! But it does speak of sci-fi.

Victoria, a.k.a Egg, the name of her favorite heroine from a science-fiction movie, is a geek, a nerd, and a loner. I also fit into those three adjectives, so I can relate to her, to what she lives, to her thoughts. There are many references to different science-fiction books, most of which I have heard of or read. Though she makes herself completely unlikable, I think she was attaching nonetheless. She evolves very nicely throughout the story. I love it when characters are changed by events, and grow up.

The plot itself wasn't really remarkable. In fact, it was common, at best. It's the story of the coming of age of a teenage geeky outcast who has made herself untouchable. I've quite often read things like this, but none had the same depth of character that Victoria/Egg, or Max, or Nelly, or Rue had. That is what makes this novel great.

Finally, the voice used was perfectly adapted to what was being told. It felt so... natural, like Victoria/Egg herself was talking to me like this. She made me chuckle at times, made me cry when things got tough. It was excellent, really.

I really did like this book. I'm just not sure it'll appeal to everyone, since there are many geeky references. There aren't too many, though, so it should be okay even if you aren't that much into science-fiction.


Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
Rating: 7.9/10

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fringe Girl

Adora's place in the pecking order of her posh high school is decidedly on the fringe: Pretty but not beautiful, comfortable but not rich, popular but not the ruling class. But for her latest social studies project (and to exact a little old-fashioned revenge), she decides to put what she's learned about political revolutions to good use.With the help of her friends, Adora stages her very own uprising. And guess what? Victory is hers! Before she knows it, the snotty cool kids have been overthrown-and suddenly Adora is the leader, reveling in her newfound power and popularity.

But a few unexpected events are about to trip up the new order-and Adora's noticing that sometimes it can be lonely at the top.

Two weeks ago, I went book shopping with Beryl. Being kind of broke, I bought a paperback and then found a 2$ book section and discovered this little book. It looked interesting, and, though it was, it was definitely only worth the 2$ I paid for it.

The characters are what struck me the most. They were so completely and utterly unbelievable, I sometimes wanted to puke. Especially because of their love life. *SPOILER ALERT* Adora Benet, for instance. The main character. She is 16, and a "Fringe Girl", on the fringe of the popular girls circle. She is so artificial, boring, predictable and not teenager-like. She goes through 3 boyfriends in 6 weeks, one of those being her long-time love interest. She got over HIM after about 2 days. Honestly, if my lobe interest for the past few years had cheated on me, I would've been inconsolable for weeks. But no. She goes on to dating a guy she's known for a week and breaks up with him when he turns out to be a stalker. Once more, her reaction to this news was completely unbelievable. "I have such bad luck with boys!" If I had just learned my ex-boyfriend was expelled from his past few schools for stalking, I would've been creeped out and traumatized. For weeks. But not Adora Benet, oh, no! She now realizes her enemy, the guy she has hated ever since she was 6, she realizes that, in fact, she is completely in love with him! And he has loved her since she was 5! They hook up, are happy forever, the end. *END SPOILER ALERT* ASGUHGAIOHFS. I swear, I never read about such an unbelievable love life. Ever.

One comforting thing, though, was that there wasn't an abuse of "teenager" slang like... Like, OMG, and the such.

Now, onto the actual plot. That part was quite interesting and filled with unexpected twists and turns. The whole concept of someone trying to reverse a school's social order was something I'd never seen before, and really liked, being somewhere along the fringe or farther away myself. The way Adora got to the top of the social order was very instructive, too, since it was pretty much the same way all revolutionaries managed to do a coup-d'etat in the real world.

As I said earlier, there were some moments where I was actually surprised by the turn of events. Even if what was happening was still (often) believable, it was something I never would've expected, and that is pretty good. I can usually predict how the book will end within the first pages of a book, but this one kept me thinking until the last page.

Finally, the emotions conveyed in this book were incredible. Even though I didn't care about the characters because they were so unbelievable, what sometimes happened to them sometimes made me really sad, and almost made cry. This book also gave me a few good giggles, but it wasn't roll-on-the-floor funny, like the cover praise said.

I would've loved to give this book a better rating, since the plot was excellent, but the characters really were annoyingly unrealistic. I don't suggest you waste your money on this, except if you find it for 2$ like I did.


Fringe Girl by Valerie Frankel
Rating: 7,3/10