I would call myself a casual Harry Potter fan. I have memories of the books and movies from when I was younger. So when I saw This is How We Fly by Anna Meriano, a book about Quidditch in real life, I was curious.
Ellen Lopez-Rourke just graduated high school, and she has one summer left until she’s off for college. Her plans are thrown out the window, however, when her step-mom grounds her for the whole summer. Her only out is begging to join the local Quidditch team with her friend, Melissa. Ellen expects a bunch of Harry Potter nerds, but what she finds are committed, loyal team members playing a super athletic game. Quidditch is just the distraction Ellen needs from her drama with family and friends, but she’ll find she can’t outrun them for long.
I enjoyed this story about finding yourself and finding community. This book captures the feelings of a teenager moving on to adulthood, and of someone finding a supportive place where they feel they belong. There are plenty of aspects of Ellen’s life, such as her struggles with identity and social activism, that succeed in rounding her character. There was growth from each character presented, I just wish the book had better handled Ellen’s relationship with her step-mom. Overall, an interesting read.
The blurb led me to believe that Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange would be amazing, filled with many dynamic characters who share their perspectives and have great character development.
I was hugely disappointed to find out that this book was only told from the POV of Sam, the “Pariah”. The plot was intriguing, but Sam wasn’t a very likeable character. She constantly told herself that she wasn’t like the “other girls” that she called Barbies. Her mother had been to jail and rehab many times and Sam subconsciously uses that to pity herself throughout the book. That made the book harder to read and I was tempted to put it down many times. Her only reason for staying during the adventure, that could’ve gotten her arrested or killed, was that it was the first time she was invited somewhere.
One of the main themes of this book was relationships. Something that threw me off was Sam flirting with York, the “Bully”. They are literally being pursued by a gang and the police and she’s worried that York has been with other girls. One relationship dynamic that I did enjoy was between York and his little brother Boston who is the “geek” that’s mentioned in the title. It portrayed sibling relationships realistically without overdoing it. Another character was Andi, the “rebel”. Andi was once the queen of the Barbies but is now a stereotypical gay character with a tragic backstory. She did make the story more interesting by constantly being sarcastic but her “friendship” with Sam from Sam’s perspective was awkward at times.
As I’ve previously mentioned, the plot itself was quite good. Four teens getting thrusted into an adventure they didn’t want. Almost committing murder, hiding drugs, and running away from a gang, all while trying to avoid the police! This book’s mystery was very well plotted. I’d give it a 3.5/5.