BOOK REVIEWS

The Girl Who Could Fly Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-31 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 184 user ratings
ISBN:0312602383
LANGUAGE:English

"Weird, isn’t it, how certain themes will pop in several different books all of a sudden? In The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester (Feiwel and Friends, 2008), young Piper McCloud has a special gift – she can fly (making her name quite apt). This gift – and the fact that other kids around the world are born with other unique gifts – and Piper’s down-home folksiness reminded me quite a bit of Ingrid Law’s Savvy, with those unique Talents that a certain family inherits at age 13. And then there’s Graceling by Kristin Cashore (currently waiting impatiently on my nightstand for my return from work tonight), in which some people are inexplicably born with a Grace, which is essentially a superpower.

After a sheltered and lonely childhood on an old-fashioned farm, Piper’s gift is discovered and she is sent to a special facility for gifted children like herself. At first she is ecstatic – the food is terrific and best of all, there are lots of other kids, each of whom has a unique ability. A pair of twins can control weather, a girl is super-strong, another girl has mastered telekinesis, and a boy named Conrad is super-intelligent. But all is not as it seems, and it turns out that this institute – run by the formidable Dr. Hellion – is has a downright sinister mission.

Although this is a well-written and fast-paced book, it was not wholly satisfying, mainly because seemed to be trying to be several different books at once. As I mentioned, the folksy charm of the first few chapters reminded me of Savvy and even a little bit of Chicken Feathers by Joy Cowley. Then suddenly the action shifts to the comfortable yet sterile atmosphere of Dr. Hellion’s institute, which feels like The Little Princess meets The Mysterious Benedict Society meets Brainboy and the Deathmaster. In other words, this is a fantasy that transforms into a science-fiction novel halfway through, and it discombobulated me just a tad. This might not have been so bad if Piper had seemed more real or convincing – but she never really came alive for me.

It’s an entertaining story, but it’s not the first book I would recommend to either a fantasy or SF fan. However, I’m looking forward to the next book by this talented first-time author.
" 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.

" 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.

"OMG. I was practically hyperventilating when I was reading this.
Okay, to be truthful, I read this book like, what? 2 years ago?
My former BFF who lived in Canada sent me this.
I lived in Canada and then I moved to my home country so she sent me this as a present. (But now we're not in touch. :()
I was thrilled. I loved books then and I wasn't really that good at my home language so I was reading and rereading all of the books in my house. Well, English ones anyway. Which, I will tell you, is quite a lot.
This book was thrilling. I loved the cover. It was glossy, and kinda black and greyish cover but a rich black and greyish cover.
Piper, was honestly quite admirable. Her spirit and all that.
Loved the plot, and loved the fact that it was about superpowers but that it sounded so original.
The evil doctor lady, loved her.
She was evil, but kinda nice evil with a past. I just loved that the fact that she was the antagonist, but made me hate and love her at the same time.
I think I actually cried when the antagonist fell to her death.
Well, I was young then, don't blame me.
It had a kind of open ending, and I was STARVING for a sequel.
Starving.
It didn't have one....kinda why I gave it a 4 star.
I just absolutely HATE open endings.
Just keep us wondering, won't ya?
I like a good, clear, happily ever after or a happily ever after with a dead protagonist.
Yup.
" said.

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