May Contain Spoilers
I read The Girl Who Could Fly because I received a copy for a blog tour. I love middle-grade books, and since it’s been a while since I read one, I was excited to start this. I loved the author’s voice, especially while Piper is still at the family farm. She’s a surprise to her older, salt of the earth parents, and when the lively, happy Piper is born, they are taken aback. They are, while not joyless folk, serious and dedicated to the land that has been in the family for generations. They don’t need much and are content to get by, farming the land, tending their livestock, and fitting, uneventfully, into their community.
Then along comes Piper. She floats. Her mother Betty immediately realizes that her daughter isn’t “normal.” To a woman who embraces being normal and not tempting fate, who relishes doing things as they have always been done, Piper is an unexpected hiccup in her road of normalcy. Betty decides that it’s best to keep Piper on the farm, homeschooled and doing her chores, so that the neighbors don’t start gossiping about them. Piper upsets her plans one summer day, when she watches a momma bird push her babies out of the nest. Piper wonders if she can fly too. And once Piper sets her mind to something, nothing is going to get in her way until she accomplishes it.
An unfortunate event at the Fourth of July picnic, the first that Piper’s been allowed to attend, has disastrous consequences. The entire community learns that Piper can fly. Soon, the entire world knows. When Dr Letitia Hellion and her crew from the top secret institute I.N.S.A.N.E. show up at the farm, promising to school Piper in her abilities, and to keep her safe, the McClouds have no choice but to let their daughter go with them. What Piper finds isn’t exactly the paradise she’s been promised, but it takes the help of a mean supergenius to figure out that she’s actually a prisoner and not a student at the high tech facility in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by miles and miles of snow and ice.
I loved Piper and Conrad. Piper is completely guileless, the total opposite of Conrad. Conrad is frustrated and just plain mean, and Piper’s happy attitude grates on his last nerve. He picks on her mercilessly, and Piper, who doesn’t have much experience in social settings, first tries to win him over, and when that doesn’t work, tries to ignore him. Of course he gets her into trouble every chance he can, until one disturbing event makes Piper realize that all is not as it seems at the institute. Conrad and Dr Hellion have been locked in a battle of wits for four years, and Conrad believes that with Piper’s help, he’ll finally get the best of her.
I liked how Piper fought to be true to herself, even at a terrible price to herself. While she yearns to fit in, she begins to realize that being who she is is more important that being popular. Her sunny disposition does endear her to others, regardless of how hard they try to resist. I liked the message that being different isn’t bad, and everyone deserves a chance to be who they really are.
The Girl Who Could Fly is a quick read, with action, adventure, and danger. It’s also about learning to get along with others despite their differences, and the importance of being yourself. I am looking forward to The Boy Who Knew Everything, because I enjoyed Conrad so much.
Review copy provided by publisher
About the book:
You just can’t keep a good girl down . . . unless you use the proper methods.
Piper McCloud can fly. Just like that. Easy as pie.
Sure, she hasn’t mastered reverse propulsion and her turns are kind of sloppy, but she’s real good at loop-the-loops.
Problem is, the good folk of Lowland County are afraid of Piper. And her ma’s at her wit’s end. So it seems only fitting that she leave her parents’ farm to attend a top-secret, maximum-security school for kids with exceptional abilities.
School is great at first with a bunch of new friends whose skills range from super-strength to super-genius. (Plus all the homemade apple pie she can eat!) But Piper is special, even among the special. And there are consequences.
Consequences too dire to talk about. Too crazy to consider. And too dangerous to ignore.
At turns exhilarating and terrifying, Victoria Forester’s debut novel has been praised by Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga, as “the oddest/sweetest mix of Little House on the Prairie and X-Men…Prepare to have your heart warmed.” The Girl Who Could Fly is an unforgettable story of defiance and courage about an irrepressible heroine who can, who will, who must . . . fly.