Fly on the Wall

How One Girl Saw Everything

by e. Lockhart

Brief Summary: Gretchen Yee goes to Manhattan School for Art and Music where being standing out means blending in – at least that’s how Gretchen sees it. Between the boys that are busy trying to be different at school, her best friend going MIA and her family falling apart, Gretchen just can’t understand how she fits into the world she inhabits. Until she’s turned into a fly. On the wall of the boys bathroom. Talk about a game changer.

Kell’s Chatty Review: I’ve been putting off reading this one for reasons unknown to me. Maybe because I just loved Frankie so much that I wanted to keep that Lockhart character foremost in my mind? Not sure, but finally I read it. And it really is a wonderfully quirky and insightful story.

Length: If you haven’t seen Fly on the Wall, it’s, like, 160-some pages long. I read it over a few lunch hours (although I tried to go to places there weren’t people because I had the tendency to laugh out loud.), so it’s not a huge time commitment.

Familiarity: Also, the format of my version (there have been a few and I can’t account for them all) is ridiculously similar to that of the Ruby Oliver series, which made me happy. Who knew fonts, type-space and layout could make you feel comfortable?

The Story Itself: Really is well done. It’s brilliantly edited to feel complete in its compact form (other author would probably have ballooned the page count to around 300 – which it obviously didn’t need) and the characters really feel like they are living and breathing. Gretchen also has a touch of Frankie’s social activism, which made me smile. (Or, since the books were published in reverse, Frankie possesses a lot of the social activism Gretchen exhibited?)

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: Draw. Sigh.

Where this book came from: ALA Annual 2009. Although, I did buy it. Not for full price, though.


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