"I think this might be the best YA novel . . . I've ever read." —John Green
From E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars—the New York Times bestselling phenomenon—and the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver books, comes a fast-paced and hysterically funny novel that answers the question: What would it be like to be a fly on the wall in the boy's locker room?
At the Manhattan School for Art and Music, where everyone is “different” and everyone is “special,” Gretchen Yee feels ordinary. She’s the kind of girl who sits alone at lunch, drawing pictures of Spider-Man, so she won’t have to talk to anyone; who has a crush on Titus but won’t do anything about it; who has no one to hang out with when her best (and only real) friend Katya is busy.
One day, Gretchen wishes that she could be a fly on the wall in the boys’ locker room–just to learn more about guys. What are they really like? What do they really talk about? Are they really cretins most of the time?
Fly on the Wall is the story of how that wish comes true.
Narrator Gretchen Yee will grab readers from the first page with her snappy commentary. Even at her Manhattan arts high school, she's a misfit. But the comic-book obsessed artist gets an unexpected chance to live as an alter ego when, for a week, she turns into a literal fly on the wall, trapped inside the boys' locker room. Lockhart (The Boyfriend List) sets up a clever parallel by making Gretchen's class read The Metamorphosis, and like Kafka's protagonist it is unclear what caused Gretchen's change (she suspects a philosophical old man she met on the subway, or a strange soda she drank on the way to school, among other things). Her sense of humor offsets her generally negative outlook, and the pace picks up during her time as a fly. As Gretchen buzzes around hundreds of naked bodies, she witnesses a lot of locker room drama, and worries about the morality of spying even as she categorizes their bums or describes an uncircumcised penis. She also realizes how insecure boys can be (she even learns that confidence is not always what makes someone sexy sometimes, as in the case of her crush its just the opposite). The conclusion wraps a bit neatly (and without much introspection), but readers will find enough thoughtful material here to keep buzzing through the pages. Ages 12-up.