Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fly on the Wall

Gretchen Yee, in E. Lockhart’s young adult novel Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything, is a sophomore at the Manhattan School for Art and Music. When she wishes she were a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room, she never expects her wish will come true in such a dramatic way.

Gretchen isn’t exactly an average teenage girl, so some readers might have difficultly relating to her. She attends a special high school for artistic students in New York City and spends her time reading and illustrating comic books. Ultimately, though, she deals with family problems, boy troubles, and friend issues, like any other teen.

Since Gretchen spends much of the book hanging around a high school boys’ locker room, some readers might also find her experiences uncomfortable or offensive as she frankly describes both what she sees and hears.

Lockwood’s novel has a unique premise, although the execution leaves something to be desired. The ultimate message, though, is a good one: high school boys aren’t that different from high school girls. They also struggle with body image, identity, and relationships.

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