[Review] Fly on the Wall - E. Lockhart

Title of Book: Fly on the Wall
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Year: 2016
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 182

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. 


What would happen if a teenage girl suddenly turned into a fly? You will find the answer in Fly on the Wall. Gretchen Yee is an art student who lives in her own world. She has a crush on a boy named Titus, who is a part of the Rat Pack clique. She does not understand anything about boys so she casually made a wish to be a fly on the boy's locker room's wall. The next day, she woke up with the realization that her wish had come true.  

With a unique premise, this book is not something that I usually pick up. However, a booktuber whose opinion I trust, speaks highly of this book so I decided to read it. E. Lockhart is already popular because of her another book We Were Liars. However, I chose to read Fly on the Wall first other than We Were Liars.

Gretchen Yee is a different girl. She is what some people refer to as a geek. She collects comic book, loves superhero, and she is quite a hoarder. She is an awkward girl, especially around boys. She only has one best friend named Katya. When she is not with Katya, she likes to draw superheroes by herself. She actually makes a perfect quirky artsy girl. Since she goes to Manhattan School of Art and Music, she feels ordinary because everyone else is also artsy and different. Therefore, she tends to shut everyone else out and keep to herself.

Though unusual, this book does have something to say. Through Gretchen's strange experience, she has learned many lessons. As a fly, she couldn’t do much besides flying aimlessly in a boys locker room while trying to survive. It gave her time to observe, particularly boys, naked or not. She learned that boys are just ordinary people, like her. They also have worries, problems, and insecurities. She learned to open up and empathize more to other people. Spending days in boys locker room also makes Gretchen aware of bullying and the inequality happening in her school. I think it's great that Lockhart manages to talk about that in this book.

Overall, Fly on the Wall is not your typical young adult book. It's weird but it gives something to think about. Some say that this book is similar to Kafka's Metamorphosis or it's a young adult version of Metamorphosis. But I haven't read Metamorphosis so I couldn't say anything about it. Metamorphosis is referenced in this book, though. In the week where Gretchen was turned into a fly, one of her class is supposed to discuss about Metamorphosis. Coincidence? Maybe not. If you're open to a strange young adult story, then Fly on the Wall is for you.


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