The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden pulled me in instantly - the opening line of the book is, "This morning, I woke up on the ceiling. Which is odd, because I've never woken up there before, not that I remember, anyway." After reading that, I had really high expectations and just had to read more - unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.
The book is about Gwendolyn (Gwennie), who learns that she can fly - she's what they call a "Night Flyer". This knowledge, alarming enough in itself, comes at a time when Gwennie is beginning to go through puberty, navigating a hostile middle school, and still dealing with her father's death.
I really enjoyed the first quarter or so of the book. I felt like Gwendolyn's voice really came through, and found her comments really funny. For instance, she described how 7th/8th graders at her school eat lunch with the little kids, but have PE with the high schoolers. She called it the "schizophrenic years...it's like no one can decide if we're children or teenagers." I just loved this, and thought it very aptly described how my middle schoolers feel. But, after that, I honestly got kind of bored with it. I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, and I felt like Gwennie's unique, funny voice kind of wavered a bit. I also got really sick of Gwendolyn mentioning her period! I get that that's something that's at the forefront of a lot of adolescent girls' minds, but I felt like it was getting excessive. I was hoping for more from this book.