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Fly on the Wall [Kindle Edition]

E. Lockhart
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $7.69
You Save: $1.30 (14%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

From E. Lockhart, author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestseller We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," and the uproarious and heartwarming Ruby Oliver novels, comes the fast-paced and hysterically funny Fly on the Wall.

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Things aren't going too well for E. Lockart's 16-year-old protagonist, Gretchen Yee. Not only have her parents just announced they're divorcing and her best friend, Katya, seems to be avoiding her, but she's also doing poorly in English and hasn't read the assigned Metamorphosis by Kafka. Maybe it would be better to be a Fly on the Wall (Delacorte, 2006). When she wakes up to find herself a fly in the boy's locker room, her response is a mix of comic book super hero fantasy and panic about her future. When the boys start arriving for gym class, her thoughts turn to inspecting male anatomy. In time, she discovers an unexpected admirer and learns about some guy problems, including one that affects Titus, her love interest. With her parents away, no one questions her disappearance and whatever mysterious force has turned her into an insect returns her to her own bed in a few days. By then Gretchen has learned lessons about patience and she has a new understanding about her relationships with friends and family. Catlin Greer narrates with convincing teen wistfulness and anger that reflects the teen artist's inner turmoil. While this novel isn't exactly parallel with Kafka's classic, it does explore the same feelings of uncertainty and isolation. Gretchen's descriptions of boys below the belt and her occasional four-letter expletives make this atypical fantasy best suited for mature high school audiences.–Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Fine fun for fans of both Kafka and Spiderman." - Kirkus Reviews

"With an appropriate nod and wink to Kafka, this unexpectedly sharp comedy charts its own metamorphosis." - The Horn Book Magazine

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1489 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; Reprint edition (December 18, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001O1O6N6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,890 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fly on the wall June 21, 2009
I am a huge fan of E. Lockharts, but I have to admit, at first I couldn't quite get into this book. Maybe because of its artsy-ish tone - the heroine Gretchen Yee is a student at the Manhattan Art School, so everything about her (and for that matter everybody in the school) is art orientated and I can't quite identify with imaginative and artistic types. Maybe because of a bizarre twist in the middle, when the story becomes somewhat fantasy-like - Gretchen finds that her wish of becoming a fly on the wall a boys locker room, quite literally comes true.

However the story really takes off (at least in my opinion) when we start learning about the world of male relationships, insecurities, secrets - the world which is a mystery to me up to this day. From then on the book is very hard to put down.

The major themes of all Lockhart's creations - facing difficulties instead of hiding from them, taking charge of ones life, and women empowerment - are very present in this book and delivered very well.

Another great book by E. Lockhart. Not the best written by her, but still worth your attention.

P.S. For those parents who monitor their kids' reading, this book has some mature content - male "attributes" are discussed quite openly, but without being inappropriate in my opinion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too January 17, 2007
Format:Audio CD
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subverting the Gaze (A Journey to the Boys' Locker Room) November 17, 2008
At Manhattan School for the Arts everyone is edgy, unique, and brooding. Unfortunately, comic-lover Gretchen Lee believes she is only the latter. In a battle to differentiate herself in a school of unique individuals, she dyes her hair an outrageous red, but still falls short of being noticeable to boys in what she considers a school of outcasts. This all changes when she transforms into a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room.

As with many young adult novels aimed towards girls, Gretchen feels that she will be emotionally and socially fulfilled upon finding a boyfriend. Although Lockhart subscribes to this notion to a certain extent, she is careful to portray Gretchen as a strong, independent, and funny character without the support of a male. When she first turns into a fly she considers her situation, "I'll never get a boyfriend looking like this. Oh hell, that is the stupidest thing to think. I cannot believe I just thought that." Of course, the hilarity of the situation is nested within readers' acknowledgment that they too foster insecurities that may escape as inappropriate vanity or general absurdity at the wrong moments.

In a scenario many teenage girls would dream for, readers are permitted to take place in a voyeuristic adventure inside the boys' locker room to gain insight on everything teenage girls talk about, but never get to read about such as (ah-hem) penises or as Gretchen refers to them, "gherkins". By flipping the stereotypical male gaze that evaluates females onto males through Gretchen's gaze, Lockhart actually subverts traditional gender roles, allowing Gretchen to honestly and humorously describe newly acknowledged concepts of lust.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fly's eyes November 17, 2008
I thought that this book had a very interesting premise. The idea that a teenage girl can learn about the life of boys in a way alternative to the traditional winding up in the backseat of a college guy's ford focus. I'm not too familiar with writing from the perspective of a female teen, but I found it interesting how Lockhart addressed the topic of lust and hormones.

There are many lessons in the book, portrayed in a very honest and down to earth fashion. Obviously divorce is a big issue among teens, both boys and girls - I felt that this story nodded successfully at this particular issue. It's a very fish out of water oriented story, depicting the ever so awkward years of a teenage girl and the angst such a character typically faces.

The book also presents one of the most underrated problems in a young teenage girl's life - neglect from her peers. Neglect is considered by many to be the number one form of bullying in American schools, but is rarely addressed. This story would find a nice home in the hands of a mature middle school student as an independent reading project.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
A relatively interesting read. I struggled to bond with the main character, especially after discovering that she hates it when people kill flies just because they’re there. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Books4Tomorrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great conversation starter about objectification!
A great switch on the Freaky Friday switcheroo, with the added bonus that guys get a bit of a dose of their own objectification/body classification medicine!
Published 1 month ago by Hostess of Iniquity
4.0 out of 5 stars fun and fast paced
This was a fun and light read. There were definitely some good messages in there. The story had heart. The characters were well thought out and real. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jayme Beddingfield
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books by far
This book is absolutely amazing. It expresses fantastically realistic thoughts and situations. Truly one of the best books by far.
Published 7 months ago by beatrice bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
To be honest, the first few pages bored me and I had put it down for a few weeks. When I picked it back up again and read a bit into it (30 pages or so) I started to really like... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Maria A
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Fast Paced
E. Lockhart is one of the best young adult novelists writing today. She is somehow able to capture what it is like to be a teenager -- complete with family issues and tension,... Read more
Published on January 21, 2013 by Regina
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Fun Fast Read
Customer Video Review
Length: 0:47 Mins
Published on August 25, 2011 by Dottie Randazzo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great audio
Lockhart brings an interesting concept into YA literature through the character of Gretchen, a high school sophomore who has a best friend and a crush, Titus. Read more
Published on June 25, 2011 by Book 'Em Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars So good, read in one sitting!
This book was hilarious. The protagonist, Gretchen Yee tells the story in a comical and often endearingly cynical voice. Read more
Published on September 7, 2009 by RF
3.0 out of 5 stars The Buzz
I confess to skimming much of the inner monologue portions, but got the gist. Life-like, reality-driven characters and plot. Read more
Published on July 25, 2009 by Deborah George
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More About the Author

I write novels.
My books: We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, How to Be Bad,The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends.

Visit me at
Or come read the blog at
Twitter: elockhart
Pinterest: elockhartbooks

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#49 in Books > Teens
#49 in Books > Teens

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