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This is How We Fly

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  959 ratings  ·  264 reviews
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.

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 fo
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published December 15th 2020 by Philomel Books
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Starr ❇✌❇ Yes it is! There are 3 sapphic characters of varying importance, and the main character is gender questioning. However none of those things have that …moreYes it is! There are 3 sapphic characters of varying importance, and the main character is gender questioning. However none of those things have that much effect on the plot itself, beyond connecting to Ellen's social justice frustrations.(less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Claude's Bookzone (semi hiatus)
1.5 Stars rounded up to 2 because Quidditch y'all.

CW: (view spoiler)

Well I am sorry to say this was not an enjoyable experience for me.

It was written in first person which, for the record, I have enjoyed before. However, the writing was so simple that this is what it felt like:

I thought about what I wanted to eat. I went to the fridge and opened the door. I looked through the shelves trying to find something I wanted to eat. I sighed when
Isabel ✰
i added this to my to-read almost a year ago and since then my weird quippy excited review of this book became one of the top reviews on the book and of my account, so i felt an odd obligation to actually check this book out when it pubbed

i shouldn't have.

a lot has happened since last february -- my tastes have changed and the world has changed and jk rowling has almost entirely ruined harry potter for me. what would have been a fun concept has been soured by no fault of meriano's.

beyond that,
Danika at The Lesbrary
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you still have complicated nostalgic feelings for Harry Potter, but you also want to read a book that says "Fuck TERFs" (literally--that's a direct quote), This is How You Fly is for you.

This is a story that's a little bit messy, which I loved. It deals with a lot. The dynamic between her and her family is complicated and feels realistic. Ellen is also a main character I don't see very much: she's a feminist teenager who is passionate about social justice. She is vegan and tries to call out p
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THIS IS HOW WE FLY is a fun, coming of age YA read that is focused on Ellen during the summer after graduating high school, as she finds quidditch as the lifeline she may need as she grapples through friendships and identity.

This was a fun one I enjoyed!
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I'd like to make clear that despite its references to Harry Potter, This is How We Fly is not a story about Harry Potter nor does it condone the issues in Harry Potter. (In fact, the story does, very explicitly, state 'Fuck TERFs' during it.) If this was a 'Harry Potter book', then I think this would be a very different rating. I don't give a flying fuck about Harry Potter (read it years ago but there are far better books out there now) but I do care about how its issues have hurt communities, s ...more
Sophia Dyer • bookishly.vintage
Thank you Booksparks for the finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I want to start out by saying that I do not support JKR or anything relating to THAT universe, but in the start of this book that was also noted. So it is nice that the author herself does not support JKR and her "TERF" views. Actually, the amount of representation itself in this book was absolutely amazing, and the main character did a lot of self-questioning throughout. Mostly with her gender identificatio
Ta || bookishbluehead
This book leaves me a little baffled. How can every single character be this unlikable? It starts with our main character, Ellen, who is so clingy, it stressed me out. This gets a little better over the course of the book, but honestly, all the fear of being left behind, while her friends make new friends was exhausting. Aside from that, Ellen's only personality trait seems to be that she’s a vegan and a feminist. Also, she’s super boring.

Ellen’s family is even worse. I hated them and their atti
Nov 19, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Quidditch? Hell yeah.
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The thing I loved most about this book was the voice. It sounded so clearly sarcastic anxious teen and it was distinct and kept making me laugh. Ellen was very relatable. Her relationships to so many side characters were all well-developed and I loved how she found community!

cw JKR/HP: (view spoiler)
CWs: Numerous references to the HP franchise and its author (and some direct mentions of the author's harmful ideologies), some implied homophobia, toxic parent-child dynamics, near instances of assault, some descriptions of physical injury, allusions to parental death and mourning

First off, let me just be clear in saying that I will not be assigning this book a rating and I will not be speaking about or promoting this book on my various social media outlets. That is not to say it's not wort
Jay G
Jul 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel:

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

It's the summer before Ellen is going off to college, and she wants nothing more than to hang out with her two bestfriends. But then, Ellen is grounded by her step-mom. With the help of her friend Melissa, Ellen convinces her father to allow her to join a muggle Quidditch team. As the summer goes on, Mel
Luanne Ollivier
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
My latest teen read is This is How We Fly by Anna Meriano. Young adult reads have changed a great deal over the years. While marketed as teen reads, there is much to be learned for all ages from this genre. That's definitely the case with This is How We Fly.

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
Michelle Huber
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This Is How We Fly totally took me by surprise. It was pitched as "girl plays quidditch for the summer" and after everything JKR said this summer I was like hmmmm I dunno, but I'll give it a shot.
I loved the beginning, I love familial issues in contemporary books, because you explore more sides of issues than just "girl likes boy" and there are also bisexual/lesbian characters in this, so I was happy to see the representation.
I loved Anna Meriano's writing, it was so descriptive, but sometimes
Yusra (aka liz)
Feb 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF 45% or 210 pages

This is so unbelievably boring. I don't understand why it's so long nothing has happened at all. Actually that's not true all 210 pages were used to show how woke the main character is. She's a vegan feminist and a bunch of other things. Guys she is so progressive! And no one around her is as woke as her.

Okay cool but is there anything else to her character or the book in general? Nope
Aug 11, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
I played muggle Quidditch for a bit at university (Chaser) and I've never seen it feature in a book omg?!

I still remember when I showed up to my first taster session and was told to run laps around the pitch with the pipe in between my legs until it felt normal HAHAHA

Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quidditch and teen angst are the perfect catalysts for this fun and entertaining read. This is How We Fly (TiHWF) has a bit of a Cinderella feel to it but Ellen, the quirky yet mostly loveable protagonist isn’t going to any fancy ball. Instead, she’s off to join a Quidditch team that teaches her more about herself and who she wants to be in life than any ball a pumpkin carriage could cart her to.

It’s the summer after senior year and the summer before college, Ellen is at odds with her friends, a
Jaye Berry
Feb 02, 2021 added it
Shelves: 2021, ya, ebook
This turned out as god awful as I thought it would be.
Anya Bird
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I stumbled upon this book by accident but ended up really enjoying it! A YA book with a bit of feminism, activism, LGBT+ themes and a love of Harry Potter all combined - winner! It even addresses JKs transphobic and troublesome views. What more could you want from a light read?
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
Quidditch looks really fun :D
Sue (BeautyBookCorner)
This was a fun read. There were aspects I loved and others I didn’t. I really found the Quidditch element fun. I think it’s provides Potterheads a way to enjoy the fandom again without feeling like they are supporting JKR. The characters are playing Quidditch, but there are only a handful of references to the book. There are a few times JKR’s anti-trans stance is mentioned briefly. It is always in a negative light .

At its heart, this book is a sports fiction novel. We follow the main character a
Jul 19, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dang, a ya book about quidditch huh? This is seriously everything I never knew my life was missing.
Michael Araujo
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted on The Fandom.

Anna Meriano scores multiple goals in This Is How We Fly, and even catches her own snitch while doing so.

Ellen somehow manages to get herself grounded through the whole summer. No friends, no phone, no going out. The only thing that manages to give her some freedom, is Quidditch practice. A sport created for a series of fantasy books that in our world, doesn’t actually include flying. But with actually having to participate and work out, and having
Alex Nonymous
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 7-8-and-9
This is How We Fly felt like the perfect book for me. A theatre kid protagonist! Harry potter! Queer rep, feminism AND a loose Cinderella retelling? I think that's why I was so let down.

This book isn't bad, it's just very average. Ellen as a protagonist came off more whiney then relatable, none of the other characters felt super developed since we only got to see them through her eyes, and the plot's the kind of thing you see over and over again. I think this could have been really good if it we
3.5 stars. Good YA fiction about a high school student just trying to survive the summer before senior year without her stepmom melting down at her and leaving again. Her best friend gets her into real-life quidditch.
Mar 10, 2021 rated it liked it
I loved the quidditch parts of the book, but everytime I read the scenes with the step mom and dad, I got so angry. The step mom is such an asshole and her dad is terrible too. Ugh.

Not too bad of a book, just an easy breezy little thang.
eleanor :)
Jun 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Kinda loved it but I think the daughter and her parents needed better communication. 😁
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I might be hitting my limit with YA realistic fiction that's the crossroads of major decision-making. Unless the characters are intensely creative or personable, I get distracted easily-- putting the book down and picking it back up but not really invested in it.

This one did not have a strong opening so the reading was lackluster throughout. And I recognize this is my exhaustion with the tropes in this genre category. It's strengths are the themes of togetherness in friendship and the unease wh
Marya DeVoto
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
I wasn't going to review this but there seem to be a lot of polarized reviews of it, so here are some observations that might determine whether you want to put the time in:

--it isn't any sort of defense of Rowling, in fact it explicitly addresses the issue of how fandom can redeem the HP universe without endorsing her.

--it isn't high-literary whatsoever. It has funny and wry observations, but there's nothing stylistically interesting. The characters are as well drawn as they need to be for a co
With everything going on in the Harry Potter world recently, this is exactly the book I needed!
The Harry Potter fan community is the entire reason that I am still a fan, and this book feels like a love letter from a fan to the community.
Ellen is a wonderful character that takes us through all the traditional coming-of-age struggles like worrying about college, fear of growing apart from close friends and navigating new friendships and relationships. What's wonderful about this book though is th
3.5 stars. After several years of J.K. Rowling just flaunting her flagrant bigotry in the face of the Harry Potter fandom and queer community, it was nice to read a story about fans for the fans that was very pro-trans, pro-inclusivity, and anti-bigotry. It was really fun diving into this world of Quidditch teams and delightful, nerdy kids. Always a slightly tough read for me personally when the parents in YA act more immaturely than the teenagers, but I will say that there is some resolution to ...more
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