Fly on the Wall by E.Lockhart
Published: December 2016
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 stars
From the blurb: At the Manhattan School of Art and Music, where everyone is unique and everyone is 'different', Gretchen Yee feels ordinary. It doesn't help that she's known as the girl who sits alone at lunch, drawing pictures of her favourite superhero, just so she won't have to talk to anyone. Her best (and only real) friend is there for her, but that's only if she's not busy - she's always busy!It's no surprise that Gretchen isn't exactly successful in the boy department. Her ex-boyfriend is a cold-fish-sometimes-flirty ex who she can't stop bumping into. Plus, she has a massive crush on a boy named, Titus but is too scared to make the first move. One minute he seems like a sensitive guy, the next, he's a completely different person when he's with his friends. She can't seem to figure boys out! Gretchen has one wish: to be a fly on the wall in the boy's locker room. What are boys really like? What do they talk about?This is the story of how one girl's wish came true.
E.Lockhart has been one of my favourite authors, ever since I read the Ruby Oliver series. I quickly followed that with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, Dramarama, and We Were Liars. I've been putting off reading Fly on the Wall because it would be my last book of hers until her next release, but I'm so glad I finally read it.
Gretchen was so easy to like. She's a talented artist but even at her school, which specialises in the arts, she feels as though she's not good enough. She loves to draw in a comic/graphic novel style and one teacher in particular is very critical of her. Gretchen's also dealing with the feeling that her best friend Katya is pulling away from her, the divorce of her parents, and she fears she'll never have the courage to tell Titus, her long term crush, how she feels.
All of these issues will make for a relatable read for teenagers. The one things that stands out as different from the typical teenage experience, is that for a week Gretchen spends time as a fly in the boys' locker room.
What I liked about this was that how or why Gretchen became a fly isn't a priority. What she learns about boys, the school, and herself, are far more important. Gretchen doesn't dwell on it, she just accepts it and it leads to growth and change.
Ableist language: half-wit, idiot, insane, dumb, maniac.
Problematic language: Titus' friends use words such as fag, faggot, and gay as insults a lot. But, Titus eventually tells them off which was great to see.
Fly on the Wall is a quick, fun, honest, unique story that is perfect for high school teenagers.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for my copy. RRP A$16.99.