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Customer Reviews for

Fly on the Wall

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    Soo good!

    Gretchen is a very relatable character that readers will fall in love with. E. Lockhart did an amazing job. This was my first book I read by her and it was well writen. I would say that is actually 4.5 stars and for readers Grade 8 and up. Overall, it was a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excuse the pun, but after being a fly, Gretchen's metamorphosis from insecure to empowered girl really starts.

    For Gretchen Yee life as an artificial redhead is anything but glamorous. A student at the Manhattan High School for the Arts (New Yorkers think: La Guardia) with girls wearing unitards or saris and cliques like the Art Rats, Gretchen feels too ordinary to belong. She stands out not because she's special or unique but because she's ordinary save for her stop-sign-red hair.

    Gretchen is also lonely and confused. Her best friend is more and more distant and the boys at her school-like her crush the fantastically amazing and artistic and offbeat Titus? Well, they don't make any sense either.

    Then Gretchen makes an idle wish to spend one week as a fly on the wall of the boy's locker room not expecting much to change.* But sometimes, wishes don't like to stay idle. Sometimes they like to come true.

    Life as a vermin isn't much more glamorous than life as an artificial redhead. But it's certainly more informative. Gretchen gets to observe the boys as they come and go for each gym class. Lower classmen, acquaintances, friends, and even her crush, are all available to scrutinize. Instead of just learning, as she had expected, about what the boys really look like under those baggy jeans and t-shirts and what they really think and say behind closed doors-Gretchen also gets a chance to find out how she fits into the school.

    When the week is over Gretchen might have even learned enough to live life not as an artificial redhead or a vermin but as a superhero.

    I like Gretchen a lot as a character. She is also a comic book fan which almost always makes a character fun to read about. Excuse the pun, but after being a fly, Gretchen's metamorphosis from insecure to empowered girl really starts.

    At times Lockhart's language seemed a little . . . unique. (You can tell me what you think after reading her segment on "gherkins.") I don't know if it's that she's using slang that I find weird and this is therefore only my problem, but it just made me hyper-aware that I was reading a book at certain points in the story.

    As for the plot, it's a classic problem-resolution kind of story. Which I like. If you need to pick up something light and fun after a sad book I'd recommend this. Finally, even though you think the book is about a girl turning into a fly which is a fair assumption, it's really about more than that too. Specifically, it's about a girl learning to go after what she wants.

    *Basically, Fly on the Wall takes Franz Kafka's plot from The Metamorphosis and brings it into the modern world and into a book that would appeal to teenage girls. And, for that reason, I almost didn't read it. I hated reading The Metamorphosis in high school and, to be honest, I still strongly dislike the book and avoid Kafka at all costs because of it. BUT, I am happy to say that the similarity to Kafka's novel begins and ends with Gretchen turning into a fly.

    Possible Pairings: Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga, The Superhero Handbook by Michael Powell, Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan, The Fly (movie)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2011

    Recommended to everyone

    yeah, wow. e. lockhart, i already know, is an awesome author. this was the only published book by her i haven't yet read. i REALLY liked it. the length surprised me (roughly 200 pages although you can easily find that out yourself) but despite it being quick, you still really get involved with the characters. gretchen is relateable, witty and artsy--my kind of girl!
    i'd recommend this to anyone, especially a girl, who isn't intimidated by too cool people. ;) because i kinda wish i were gretchen sometimes, especially at the end where she realized that her life really isn't so bad.
    i liked it a lot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    must read !

    I would highly recommend this book to a friend that is in middle or high school or for kids that have parents going through relationship problems..What made me like was it had alot of,emotion,vocabulary that you wouldnt see in a regular book I mostly liked the detail in the book.

    I liked this author so much I think I might read another book by her called the boyfriend list,I herd I got good reviews,and five stars. Theirs nothing i didn't liked about this book, i liked this book from beginning till end.I`m really glad i chose this book for my summer reading project.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    Sixteen-year old Gretchen Yee is a pretty typical teenager. Sort of. She attends the Manhattan High School for the Arts, otherwise known as Ma-Ha. There, she gets to take not only the normal, everyday classes of Literature and PE, but also Drawing and Sculpture. Gretchen is a great artist, and she's especially partial to the comic-book style of drawing. Not to mention that her personal hero is Spiderman. She has a best friend name Katya, who now seems to spend all her time either hanging out with the poseurs behind the school, smoking cigarettes, or babysitting her three younger sisters. <BR/><BR/>When it comes to the opposite sex, though, Gretchen has no idea what she's doing. Actually, she doesn't even know what they're doing half the time. Her parents are in the throes of a divorce, she has no close male friends, and her kind-of ex-boyfriend, Shane, now spends most of his time acting like an idiot. How can she ever know what goes on inside a guy's head when they act like such total morons most of the time? <BR/><BR/>After casually mentioning one day after school that she wished she could be a fly on the wall in the boy's locker room, something really, really strange happens. Gretchen wakes up the next morning as, you guessed it, a fly on the wall of the boy's locker room. Never mind the fact that she can't wrap her mind (her own mind, thank goodness, not a fly mind) around what's happened, now she spends several hours every day seeing high-school guys get naked! In front of her! Without clothes! And she can't close her eyes because her fly-body has no eyelids! <BR/><BR/>Needless to say, the things Gretchen sees and hears inside the boy's locker room at Ma-Ha are (ha!ha!) eye-opening, to say the least. Who knew that Titus, the object of her undying affections, gets tired of hearing his friends talk bad about homosexuals? Or that Malachy, a guy she'd never paid much attention to before, has secretly been dating her best friend? Or that one of the Art Poseurs is [..] Or that she'd spent so much time wondering if she was invisible, all the time being crushed on by a guy she'd never seen before? <BR/><BR/>FLY ON THE WALL is funny, honest, and a totally fun read. Who wouldn't wish, just once, to have a fly's-eye-view of the inner sanctum of the teenage male? For Gretchen, her time as a fly teaches her a lot about not only the male species, but her own wishes, desires, and needs. A real winner!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Be Careful What You Wish...

    Nonconformity is rule at the Manhattan High School for the Arts, better known as Ma-Ha, but Gretchen Yee doesn't fit in (even with her fire engine red hair) - she's only ordinary. She's got one best friend names Katya, a secret crush on Titus, a whole bunch of junk in her room (though she wouldn't call it that), and a love for drawing cartoon-style. But with one ill-made wish, Gretchen has a lot more to worry about than her parents' divorce: she's somehow been transformed into a housefly in the boys' locker room, of all places. While Gretchen's trapped there, she learns all sorts of nifty facts about the male anatomy as well as what lies behind their physical appearances. Fly on the Wall was truly an enjoyable book for me to read. Gretchen's character is very real she deals with problems girls go through every day (except when she's a fly of course!) such a boy and friendship troubles. It also helps that Gretchen's reactions to the world around her and her experiences as a fly were hilarious. Lockhart has a way of slipping significant messages into her writing while making the story witty and fun to read, and Fly on the Wall is no different. While I did not like Fly on the Wall as much as I liked her more recent novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, I did enjoy the story nonetheless. I recommend this book if you are looking for something short and sweet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    A reviewer

    Gretchen Kaufman Yee is an artist--mainly of the comic book variety--and a student at the Manhattan High School for the Arts (Ma-Ha). In a school full of creative, artistic types she feels like the only 'normal' person there--which makes her a total outsider. She has one friend (who has been scarce lately) and one ex-boyfriend (who is now to the king of the group of Art Rats that includes her all-consuming crush, Titus Antonakos). Boys are a foreign concept. When she makes an offhand wish to be a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room--so she can, for once, really know what they're talking about--she never expects it to happen. But it does. Gretchen spends a week as a fly, trapped in the stinky, sweaty locker room, bearing witness to the interactions, secrets, and--of course--nekkidness of the boys of Ma-Ha. It is a testament to Lockhart's undeniable talent that her heroine turning into a fly seems like a completely natural occurrence. The metamorphosis is smooth and completely believable. Gretchen's voice is so strong, that you can completely forget that she has six legs and a pair of wings. And when she inevitably returns to sixteen-year-old-girl form, her internal metamorphosis is equally smooth and believable, and emotionally satisfying. (I don't usually stoop to those catch phrases of literary criticism, but in this case I can't seem to help myself.) If you haven't gathered from everything mentioned so far, you should totally read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008

    A reviewer

    i love this coool book and the cool girl that wrote it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2008

    Terrific book

    This book is an amazing page turning book. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    I read The Boyfriend List and loved it, so of course I had to read this too, and I was not dissapointed. It's funny, realistic (besides the whole being a fly part) and entertaining, I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    this book was funny, charming, and most of the time, what the author wrote was TRUE. i definitely recommend this to ANYONE...boy or girl...even though it's a girl book, boys could read it to see how far a girl would go for you to notice them and to learn more about them! it's a good book but could have a better ending because the ending was very predictable...4 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    Kooky, but good

    i have read The boyfriend list. and i thought i'd read this. soo i looked at the reviews and i saw that a woman thought that this book was horrible.... soo i had to read it.. just to see what all the fuss was about, and it was a fine book. funny. and loopy. but a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    WARNING TO PARENTS - THIS BOOK IS PORN !

    This book is filled with 4-letter words. The 'f' word is used throughout. The premise of the story is a teen girl turns into a fly, and goes into the boys locker room. She describes in detail, boys' anatomy, and a large part of the book is spent describing boys' genitals, and how she feels upon seeing them. She also discusses how seeing the naked boys makes her feel. Another character has gay parents, and graphic terminology is used relating to them. My 12 year old daughter picked this book up out of the children's room in our local library. It has a cheerful, little-girlish pink cover. My daughter thought that it was going to be a fun adventure story of a girl who turns into a fly. It is an adventure story, but an x-rated one. Fortunately, my daughter stopped reading, and brought the book to me when she encountered the first 4-letter words on the first pages. Our library has since removed this book from their shelves. I highly object to this book being marketed to CHILDREN, when between the girly-pink cover it is undisguised, blatant pornography. While I do not care what other adults read in the privacy of their own homes, to have this book being marketed for children is unethical, immoral by any standards, and should be illegal. You have to be 18 to purchase pornography. You should have to be 18 to purchase this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2007

    I LOVED THIS BOOK

    I got this book at my school library for an ela project because it was short but when I started reading it, it was so much better then I could have imagined! I couldnt put it down i read the whole thing in one 4 hour sitting and it is one of the funniest and best books I have ever read. I am looking forward to reading the boyfriend list and from what ive heard it is just as good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2006

    :)

    I loved this book. I read it in about two days because I could not put it down. I saw it in the book store and that it was by e. Lockheart and knew it would be good. Its a great story about well a girl who turns into a fly (yeah its not wicked realistic)and lives in the boys locker room at her school. As she learns many things about the people in her school and about herself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2006

    Best Book Ever

    This is a terrific book to read. I finished it in less than 2 days. I couldn't take my eyes off this book. Any teenager can relate to some part of this book. You can read this book over and over and never get bored. E. Lockhart is a genious. She is a true writer. I knew right when i saw that this book was by her i knew it would be outstanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    Fly on the wall

    this book was, really good, i could relate to this book i actually felt like i was the person in the story i would deff. recommend this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    Sixteen-year old Gretchen Yee is a pretty typical teenager. Sort of. She attends the Manhattan High School for the Arts, otherwise known as Ma-Ha. There, she gets to take not only the normal, everyday classes of Literature and PE, but also Drawing and Sculpture. Gretchen is a great artist, and she's especially partial to the comic-book style of drawing. Not to mention that her personal hero is Spiderman. She has a best friend name Katya, who now seems to spend all her time either hanging out with the poseurs behind the school, smoking cigarettes, or babysitting her three younger sisters. When it comes to the opposite sex, though, Gretchen has no idea what she's doing. Actually, she doesn't even know what they're doing half the time. Her parents are in the throes of a divorce, she has no close male friends, and her kind-of ex-boyfriend, Shane, now spends most of his time acting like an idiot. How can she ever know what goes on inside a guy's head when they act like such total morons most of the time? After casually mentioning one day after school that she wished she could be a fly on the wall in the boy's locker room, something really, really strange happens. Gretchen wakes up the next morning as, you guessed it, a fly on the wall of the boy's locker room. Never mind the fact that she can't wrap her mind (her own mind, thank goodness, not a fly mind) around what's happened, now she spends several hours every day seeing high-school guys get naked! In front of her! Without clothes! And she can't close her eyes because her fly-body has no eyelids! Needless to say, the things Gretchen sees and hears inside the boy's locker room at Ma-Ha are (ha!ha!) eye-opening, to say the least. Who knew that Titus, the object of her undying affections, gets tired of hearing his friends talk bad about homosexuals? Or that Malachy, a guy she'd never paid much attention to before, has secretly been dating her best friend? Or that one of the Art Poseurs is gay. Or that she'd spent so much time wondering if she was invisible, all the time being crushed on by a guy she'd never seen before? FLY ON THE WALL is funny, honest, and a totally fun read. Who wouldn't wish, just once, to have a fly's-eye-view of the inner sanctum of the teenage male? For Gretchen, her time as a fly teaches her a lot about not only the male species, but her own wishes, desires, and needs. A real winner!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2006

    OH MY GOSH!! AMAZINGLY HILARIOUS!!

    Very non-ralistic but also very hilarious! The book deals with everyday life promblems and some things that dont happen everyday like being a fly in the boys locker room! The details were so funny! Here booty chart: A+ through C grades were just hilarious! Shes definatly experiencing normal life dramas, her parents getting divorced, no boyfriend, no friends, failing grades are all things a teenager will go through but never will they end up in the oppisite sex locker rooms seeing EVERYTHING and hearing all there secrets! This book is 2 thumbs up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2006

    it was very pleasant and inspired me!

    i think it was incredible book to read. it was a very interesting and knowledgable book to read. i suggest that you read this book cause when i read it i turned out to be in awe .

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