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 [..] 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!
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"