Boyproof by Cecil Castellucci (new read)
This one was completely new to the point that I never even heard of it before this list came out. It didn’t take long to see why.
Boyproof is the story of Egg, a science fiction obsessed misfit who has little room in her life for boys, or anybody for that matter. She takes her name from the lead character of her favorite movie, Terminal Earth, and dresses as closely to her as she can get away with. One day, she meets a guy named Max and starts to wonder if all of her thinking has been wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought this book was fun to read. It was written in a diary format, so all the events were in easily digestable chunks. It was also set in Los Angeles, where both of Egg’s parents were in the movie industry. That led to frequent pop culture references and talk about their work, which I loved, of course!
However, this book was SO predictable. You can probably already tell from my brief synopsis what’s going to happen. For better or worse, it’s worth noting.
VERDICT: Cute book, but I have no idea what it’s doing on a “Best of” list.
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (reread)
This is a book I remember liking as a young girl, but I mostly remembered the sentiment and overall theme, not much about the plot.
Upon reading this as an adult, I LOVED it. I wish that every person in America would stop what they are doing right now and read it. That is not an exaggeration. The point of view represented in this story is so needed right now and would give many people insight into what they still don’t seem to understand.
The story is told from the point of view of Cassie Logan, a 9 year old black girl living in Mississippi in the early 1930’s. She lives with her parents, three brothers, and grandmother. We see the Logan family in their day to day life– the challenges they face at school, at home, even in their attempts to buy things that are required to live.
As I saw someone mention online, we read and hear lots about slavery, and the civil rights movement, but we don’t always study much about the in between. This story enlightens much of that era, and it’s not always pretty.
VERDICT: I can say, without hesitation, that this book should be included on the list. I even venture to say it should be considered in the top ten. The important subject matter, little heard point of view, and well written prose all warrant its inclusion.
**I couldn’t let the Logan family go after just one book. I also reread the two novels that succeed this one: Let the Circle Be Unbroken and The Road to Memphis. I was able to reread my own 20+ year old copy of the latter. By the end, Cassie is a 17 year old young woman, and it’s amazing to read the transformation. The saga is alternately heartbreaking and uplifting, and I’m so glad I was able to reread these with fresh eyes.