by Cecil Castellucci
About the book:
Her name is Egg. She’s named herself after the kick-ass heroine of her favorite Sci-fi movie, Terminal Earth. She’s always knows the right answers, she’s always in control, and she can’t be bothered with friends—much less members of the opposite sex. As far as she’s concerned, she’s boy proof. And she likes it that way.
About the author:
Cecil Castellucci grew up in New York City. She is a writer, filmmaker, actress, and singer-songwriter, and engages in many other creative pursuits. She is also an avid science fiction fan—as a testament to her devotion, she lived for six weeks on Hollywood Boulevard, waiting for the opening of Star Wars: Episode One. “Sci-fi fandom is always given such a bad rap,” she says. “I’m a card-carrying geek and proud of it.” Currently, Cecil Castellucci lives in Los Angeles, in the “belly of the beast” known as Hollywood. This is her first book for Candlewick Press.
- Describe Egg. How would she be received in your school? How is she treated in her own? Is part of it her own fault?
- Explain Egg’s relationship with her parents. Is she fair to both of them? Would you tolerate her father’s demands for no interruptions and silence to be with him? Is her relationship with her mother typical?
- Who is Max? Is he perfect for Egg or not? Why won’t she give him a chance? What happens between them? How does Egg experience envy for the first time over a boy?
- “Even my mom’s fantasies about me star her.” (p. 84) Can you imagine being the daughter of a famous actor? How would you handle it? Do you think most actors are as self-involved as Egg’s mom?
- Compare Max’s personal philosophy to Egg’s. How would they compare to your own? Can people who have wildly different philosophies about life end up good for each other or is their relationship doomed?
- Why is Egg stumbling for the first time academically? What is at stake for her? When you “can. not. fail.” does it only make matters worse? Have you ever felt a crushing pressure to succeed at something?
- “Nelly tires to be so nice—so welcoming, so understanding, so sweet, so everything a nice girl should be—that I try to convince myself that there is something deeply wrong with her. Like she’s got some deep-rooted psycho issues.” (p. 31) Does this reveal more about Egg than Nelly? Have you ever pressed your own insecurities/fears/beliefs on someone else?
- Even though Egg tells everyone she’s not a “joiner” she belongs to the newspaper staff, in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Club, Interns at the American Cinematheque. Is she a joiner or not? How does she end up isolating herself from everyone? Why?
- How does Egg express herself artistically? How do you? Is it important for everyone to have a creative outlet or not? How are these developed?
- How is Victoria disappointed in her heroine? Have you ever been let down by someone you admired? Do you think Virctoria is how Saba Greed describes her fans, “lonely, pathetic, pasty?”
- Max says, “I made friends with all of them, but I don’t know if I actually like them. For real. Most of the time I still feel lonely.” (p. 135) Have you ever felt this way? Is it better to be Egg who refuses people admission to her life or Max who lets everyone in but regrets it? Defend your answer.
- Is Egg’s fascination with Terminal Earth just a phase? What phases have you gone through? Do you think this happens in adulthood as well? Is this a normal part of adolescence?
- How is Egg’s name an important glimpse into how she sees herself? Have you ever changed (or wanted to) change your name? In the end, how does Egg reach beyond herself?
Create a playlist for the movie soundtrack of the book! Write a short journal explaining why you chose the songs that you did.
Design/sketch your own monster just like Egg does.
Or, design a set for either Terminal Earth or a scene from the novel. Explain your choices in a brief artist’s statement.
Write your own personal philosophy. Defend it.