Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fly On The Wall by E. Lockhart

Attending the Manhattan School for the Arts may seem like it would be cool and out of the ordinary. Where you could be anything you wanted. And for the most part, that's true. Except for Gretchen Yee, who's too normal for all of the crazy and abnormal kids at her school. One day, while she's busy drawing comic figures and thinking about that one special guy who never notices her, she absently wishes that she could be a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room. And then her wish comes true. Literally. She now has multiple pairs of legs, eyes in the back of her head, and wings. Yes, wings. Soon after taking notice of her new and gruesome body, Gretchen realizes what a cool thing this predicament could end up to be. She gets to watch hundreds of high school guys as they change. Wouldn't hordes of um...naked any girl's fantasy? And for a while, Gretchen's in heaven, but then she starts worrying. What if she's never able to get back into her own body and live a normal life again? What then?

After reading The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart I had high expectations for this book. In that book, the author had shown herself to be superbly talented and original and I expected just as much from this book. I think that I was slightly let down. Yes, it was a good book with a completely fresh premise, an extremely spunky and eccentric main character, and lots of nummy guys, but I just don't think that the whole execution of the story did it for me as much as I had wanted it to. Gretchen Yee was really the only character whose personality was really explored in depth. All of the other characters seemed like they were just kind of there for background. None of them seemed to have any depth or anything that would make me feel like they were real people. Also, the whole turning into a fly phenomenon was a tad random. I thought it was very cool how the totally unexpected thing happened, but it was never explained why or how. Also, I think there were quite a few loose ends at the end of the book and I just wasn't even interested in them being cleared up. I just didn't care. Ugh. I feel so bad putting down one of E. Lockhart's books. But I can give kudos for the fact that the book was very funny and unique. I was laughing and enjoying myself even as I was feeling disappointed. If that makes any sense... I also liked the whole feminist perspective of the book. I like it when any book has a strong female character and this book definitely had that, which was slightly redeeming. So overall, I think that Fly On The Wall was sort of a letdown of a book for me but I wouldn't go so far as to not recommend it. It still is worth your reading time, if only for the fantabulous sassiness of Gretchen Yee.


  1. Maybe I had it better with this; Fly on the Wall was the first I read of Lockhart's books (I finished The Disreputable History just last night, and I did like it better), so I had no expectations that would be let down. Have you read The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book?

  2. Fly on the Wall was the first book of E. Lockhart I read and...well, I don't remember it that well. But I do think that her other book, Dramarama is very good. Have you read that?

  3. I've only read How to Be Bad which was very good and it had two other authors contributing. I've been wanting to read Lockhart's other books though.


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