A loose retelling of Cinderella, about a high-school graduate who–after getting grounded for the whole summer–joins a local Quidditch league and finds her footing, perfect for fans of Dumplin’, Fangirl, and everyone who’s read and adored Harry Potter.
17-year-old vegan feminist Ellen Lopez-Rourke has one muggy Houston summer left before college. She plans to spend every last moment with her two best friends before they go off to the opposite ends of Texas for school. But when Ellen is grounded for the entire summer by her (sometimes) evil stepmother, all her plans are thrown out the window.
Determined to do something with her time, Ellen (with the help of BFF Melissa) convinces her parents to let her join the local muggle Quidditch team. An all-gender, full-contact game, Quidditch isn’t quite what Ellen expects. There’s no flying, no magic, just a bunch of scrappy players holding PVC pipe between their legs and throwing dodgeballs. Suddenly Ellen is thrown into the very different world of sports: her life is all practices, training, and running with a group of Harry Potter fans.
Even as Melissa pulls away to pursue new relationships and their other BFF Xiumiao seems more interested in moving on from high school (and from Ellen), Ellen is steadily finding a place among her teammates. Maybe Quidditch is where she belongs.
But with her home life and friend troubles quickly spinning out of control–Ellen must fight for the future that she wants, now she’s playing for keeps.
Title: This is How We Fly
Author: Anna Meriano
Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Publisher: Philomel Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
I wasn’t impressed with this book. There were some nice moments and I could see some of the intent behind the story, but that was about it. And I could only see these things sometimes.
The idea behind this book was nice…But it didn’t quite pan out. There were a lot of unfortunate things that happened to the main character, Ellen, but things never really seem to look up. I can see where we can learn some lessons from the things Ellen is going through, but the lessons never really come round circle. A lot of this book left me with an unresolved feeling and wondering why the heck x, y, and z were mentioned if nothing was going to be done about them. I just think there were a lot of missed opportunities here.
The whole “loose Cinderella re-telling” thing…Yeah. I don’t really know why they included that in there. There are some similarities that I can see, but when they say loose, they mean loose. I don’t feel like having the knowledge that this was a retelling helped this book in any way. It just felt like something they threw out there.
Also, there were only a few characters I really liked and Ellen wasn’t one of them. I really hate it when I don’t like the main character, but I was glad there were some side characters I liked reading about. Ellen was just a little too much for me. She was frustrating and kinda whiny (and I recognize she had some hard stuff going on, but…still) and just not a pleasant character.
Overall, this is not one I’d recommend. It contained too many ideas that weren’t resolved and too much angst that wasn’t reconciled. I had really hoped for more.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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