BOOK REVIEWS

The Girl Who Could Fly Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-02-20 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 184 user ratings
ISBN:0312602383
LANGUAGE:English

"There's hawk is calling outside my window. It is soaring above the field. That is something I have always admired. If I could fly I would! And that is what Piper McCloud can do, in fact must do She is a natural born floater. She can fly but she learned that "raw talent only gets you so far in the world and the rest is a whole lot of practice, persistence and perspiration." Piper loves to fly. She loves the feeling and the freedom but she has been forbidden to because it is different. Ma likes things to be predictable and the same. Because Piper is anything but predictable and the same, Ma keeps her at home all the time and watches very closely. That's fine, but Piper is lonely. She longs for a friend, someone to share with. When they opportunity of the ice cream social comes along, Piper promises to be good but then the taunting and the frustration of the baseball routing get the best of her. Piper flies to catch a ball and then everyone knows for sure - there is something totally unique about Piper McCloud. In Lowland County that is not good. News of the flying girl spreads across the globe and that is how Piper meets Dr. Hellion.

Dr Hellion assures Piper that there are others like her. She explains that she has created an institute where children like Piper can develop their skills and fulfill their dreams. Piper wants to fly around the world and meet other fliers and make the world a better place. That is what she is promised once she's been to school and learned what she needs to know. And so Piper leaves home and goes to the institute. There is a classroom and it is full of children but it is not anything like she had hoped. It is harsh and cold, but still Piper is determined to make the best of it. She is determined to be friendly and kind. She is determined to find the best in others and when she discovers the secrets happening on the different levels Piper is determined to address the cruelty, no matter what the dangers are. They may be insurmountable, but is there anything that can keep Piper McCloud down? You’ll have to read to find out. I love the twists and turns of this story – nothing is ever really what it seems and I think that’s a good thing!
" said.

"I expected this to be something TOTALLY different than it was. The cover presents a "Farmgirl flies and dreams and finds friendship" type image. But the book ends up being a sci-fi fantasy akin to a Hollywood blockbuster like "Independence Day." This is appropriate since the author lists herself as a screenwriter.

A book with a message akin to Stargirl : To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
e e cummings

Piper McCloud is a 9-year-old born to 2 practical farming parents in Lowland County, who believe in the Good Book and doing things as they've always been done. When toddler Piper is seen floating next to her changing table, Mrs. McCloud does everything she can to keep Piper normal - homeschooling her and keeping her from other kids and daydreaming about flying.

But at the 4th of July picnic, Piper can't resist flying to catch a fly ball during the kids' baseball game, and the townspeople are shocked. Newsmen gather at the McCloud home, and Piper's parents agree to let a lady named Letitia Hellion (who arrives via helicopter and motorcade) take Piper to a "special school" for kids with "extraordinary needs."

With the acronym I.N.S.A.N.E. ( Institute of Normalcy, Stability And Non Exceptionality), the school piper attends is a locked-down fortress with varying levels, accessible by elevator. On each level scientists are working on various life forms - level one plants, etc. Level 13 is the kids' floor, where they attend "school" with a German professor who never really teaches new thngs. The kids' abilities vary - from Conrad the genius to Violet the shrinker to the Ahmads the weather creators. Piper is comfy and enjoys the delicious food tailored to her needs and the busy schedule.

Piper suspects something is up when Bella, a "color artist" who can make a rainbow out of anything, has a crying breakdown one day and shows up a month later a changed, lifeless, colorless girl, as the school throws her a "graduation" party and whisks her away.

Piper and Conrad then go at it with each other, until Conrad throws her precious wooden bird (a gift from her Pa) in the incinerator chute. When Piper goes to retrieve it, she realizes that INSANE is a place where creatures are made to be "normal," - tortured, chemically treated, etc. - to take any special ability out of them. Piper speaks to Conrad and he reveals all, including the fact that there are drugs in the food that make the kids sluggish and take any individuality away.

Piper and Conrad devise a plan for all the kids to escape, but Conrad is found out and strikes a deal with Dr. Hellion. The kids are caught, and Piper is punished by a MOLD torture device that inflicts such pain it takes any desires of individuality (and Piper's flying) away. Conrad is tortured by his own betrayal.

When Piper returns as a "changed" girl (lifeless and crippled due to the MOLD), the kids have hatched another plan - not to escape, but revolt. They plan a way to short-circuit electricity and cameras, etc., and take over Dr. Hellion's position. Jasper, the six year old mystery boy, discovers his gift was healing, and he heals Piper's legs.

As they try to leave, Dr. Hellion blocks their way. At the climax, we learn Dr. Hellion herself can fly and was responsible for her sister's plunge to death as a result of her flying. Dr. Hellion decides not to fly, in the end, choosing "the normal way," and we assume plunges to her death.


Piper and Conrad return to the McCloud farm to live peacefully, Conrad's corrupt politician dad none too happy to sever Conrad from the family name and fortune.


A cross between "Little House" and "X Men" - weird!
" said.

"Sometimes a book doesn’t need to be perfectly written or even perfect to be considered perfect. The plot may be silly, the characters may lack a certain depth, the dialogue may be cheesy... but somehow it elicits such a strong emotional response from you, you’re able to ignore all of that and think, “I really love this book.” It’s sort of like watching a Disney movie; sure, sometimes they have their failings, but it’s comforting to just curl up in a blanket and watch one when you’re upset and need emotional comfort.

The Girl Who Could Fly is like that for me. While I was reading it, I was swept up in the prose and narrative voice, and it made me tear up so many times and then made me cheer just as much that when I closed it, I thought, “Wow, I really, really loved this book.”

Of course upon reflection I did start to pick at the little shortcomings the book had (and one really big failing I took an issue with right away, instead of realizing it later). But still, they don’t diminish my love for this book, and they definitely don’t invalidate the reactions I had to it.

Forester’s narrative voice for this novel is pitch perfect. The mix of old school storytelling along with Piper’s distinct country way of speaking blended together in just the right way. Granted, sometimes when the novel shifted attention to another character, it didn’t work quite as well; there was just something about pairing it with Piper that made it sparkle. Still, it was a very wise style to write it in.

Piper herself was your typical country girl with the pure heart and feisty attitude and blunt way of looking at things. This might be a little tired to some people but honestly, I think it’s a cliche that still works. She was basically just like any lead heroine from a 90s kids movie; heartwarming and cheerful, but not willing to take anyone’s bullying without a fight of her own. Simple, but still lovely.

I do wish I could say the same for the rest of the characters. Her parents are well written, as are Dr. Hellion and Conrad, but the other kids at the institute are sadly lacking. You get their powers, one or two specific traits of their personalities, and then that’s it. I do wish there’d been a little more oomph to them.

Speaking of Conrad, he’s the biggest failing in the book for me. When we first meet him, he’s a bully. Plain and simple. He intimidates the other children, he breaks their things, and at one point grabs Piper by the arm so hard it leaves bruises later. Words really could not describe how much I disliked him.

And then we find out he’s actually aware of what the institute is hiding from the kids, and that all his bullying was actually to help them. That’s right. He was bullying them--trying to get them angry and use their powers--in order to help them. This left a horrifically bad taste in my mouth, especially because before this reveal we had actually seen inside Conrad’s head and his thought process for what he was doing, and there was no hint of that at all. I know that’s meant to make it even more of a surprise when Piper (and by extension the audience) finds out his true motives, but still. Surely there could have been a better way to go about all of that.

The fact that he was never held responsible for any of this also irritated me a lot. Piper immediately forgives him and then acts as if they’re best friends, while Conrad continues to treat her abysmally. To the novel’s credit, they don’t end up as a romantic couple; they’re friends and allies, and I did find Conrad’s eventual ending very sweet, even if I didn’t particularly like him.

Still, despite some of the failings the novel had, I ended up crying and cheering pretty evenly throughout the novel. I still love it, even while I recognize that it’s weak in areas. What can I say? Sometimes I just need a fun, nostalgia inducing, heartwarming fairytale in order to cheer myself up. And I can definitely say I’ll read The Girl Who Could Fly again just for that reason.

See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.
" said.

" Akin to The Angel Experiment, The Girl with the Silver Eyes and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Girl Who Could Fly is a riveting fantasy with deep elements of friendship and freedom woven into the plot. " said.

" Herkes okumalı dediğim nadir kitaplardan biri. "Okurken sürekli gülümsüyordum, ağladığım bölüm dışında." " said.

" I loved this book! It was a fun, fast read (just over 1 day for me) and I loved Piper. She was adventurous and not afraid to be true to herself. I loved that she insisted on doing the right thing, even when it was dangerous. The school that Piper goes to does remind you a little of X-Men, but there's no Professor Xavier in this book. This was Forester's first book and I hope she writes more. Kids would love this book as well as adults. " said.

"If your copy's like mine, there's a blurb from Stephenie Meyer about how this book is a mix between Little House and X-Men. Surprise, surprise, I disagree with Stephenie Meyer about something. This time, it's a matter of "close, but no cigar," Ms. Meyer. For the most part, the book reads at a similar level and with a similar feel as the first few Harry Potter books. Courageous kids, special abilities, boarding school, some real evil characters. The Little House bit of Meyer's comparison comes from the beginning portion, which I would argue is more Anne of Green Gables, because there's a gossipy village involved, which wasn't usually the case with Little House. It's the oddest part of the novel, since it feels transplanted from the 1800s/early 1900s--it wasn't till news traveled around the globe in 24 hours and film trucks arrived at the farm that I realized we were talking more contemporary. Once Piper arrives at school, there's no doubt that it's contemporary. Aside from the strange time-shifty feeling, it's a cute novel, sweet, but not saccharine. " said.

"This book starts out with a quote, "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." e.e. cummings. The characters in this book will stay with you. They face some tough issues. It's a testament to the human spirit. I think there will be some character in the book you will identify with. There's a boy that's given everything but love and it's meaningless junk to him. There's a quote that says something really profound, "There is a place deep, deep inside every person that is hidden and hard to find. If things get bad enough and life gets too hard, though, some people will go to that place and never come back from it. Certainly, all outward appearances will suggest otherwise. They will look as they always did. They may even act somewhat like their old selves, but the truth is, the real truth is that they are hiding in this place deep inside where no one can touch or hurt them again." Stephanie Myers said it well, "It's the oddest/sweetest mix of Little House on the Prarie and X-men. This book doesn't hide how evil people can be and how amazing they can be." said.

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