This is the last summer before Ellen heads off to college. She and her two besties aren't headed to the same places, so she is looking forward to spending the summer with them. But, the best laid plans....
Instead, one friend wants to cut the ties now and Ellen herself is grounded - for the entire summer. Thanks to her stepmother Connie, Ellen will be doing a list of chores every day. And her dad backs Connie up. (A little bit of Cinderella there...)
I loved Ellen and her passion for her own beliefs, whether it's feminism, veganism or climate control, she is determined to make the world a better place. Connie and Dad really irked me. Connie is well, mean, and her dialogue had me fuming. We get to know bestie Melissa much more than Xiumiao, but both are well drawn with their own issues instead of just being a foil for Ellen.
When Melissa joins a Quidditch team (yup, you read that right - the Harry Potter game), Ellen gets reluctant permission to join as well. The team, the players and the game are a big focus of the plot. I thought it was a unique premise and a great vehicle to introduce so many topics, themes and situations. Friendship, gender identity, romantic relationships, sex, belonging, blended families, coming of age and acceptance can all be found in these pages. There are so many personalities introduced though the team and tournaments. I thought they were really well done and inclusive.
I've of course read all the Potter books and had a pretty good mental image of a Quidditch match. But I had no idea of how this would be played in our reality. Meriano provides great descriptions. And the title of the book is from that question...." If it's Quidditch....how do you fly?"
I thought the writing was great and I enjoyed This is How We Fly very much. I did think the 'resolution' at the end of the book was a bit quick, but it's the right ending. Read an excerpt of This is How We Fly.