Sometimes a book doesn’t need to be perfectly written or even perfect to be considered perfect. The plot may be silly, the characters may lack a certain depth, the dialogue may be cheesy... but somehow it elicits such a strong emotional response from you, you’re able to ignore all of that and think, “I really love this book.” It’s sort of like watching a Disney movie; sure, sometimes they have their failings, but it’s comforting to just curl up in a blanket and watch one when you’re upset and need emotional comfort. The Girl Who Could Fly is like that for me. While I was reading it, I was swept up in the prose and narrative voice, and it made me tear up so many times and then made me cheer just as much that when I closed it, I thought, “Wow, I really, really loved this book.” Of course upon reflection I did start to pick at the little shortcomings the book had (and one really big failing I took an issue with right away, instead of realizing it later). But still, they don’t diminish my love for this book, and they definitely don’t invalidate the reactions I had to it. Forester’s narrative voice for this novel is pitch perfect. The mix of old school storytelling along with Piper’s distinct country way of speaking blended together in just the right way. Granted, sometimes when the novel shifted attention to another character, it didn’t work quite as well; there was just something about pairing it with Piper that made it sparkle. Still, it was a very wise style to write it in. Piper herself was your typical country girl with the pure heart and feisty attitude and blunt way of looking at things. This might be a little tired to some people but honestly, I think it’s a cliche that still works. She was basically just like any lead heroine from a 90s kids movie; heartwarming and cheerful, but not willing to take anyone’s bullying without a fight of her own. Simple, but still lovely. I do wish I could say the same for the rest of the characters. Her parents are well written, as are Dr. Hellion and Conrad, but the other kids at the institute are sadly lacking. You get their powers, one or two specific traits of their personalities, and then that’s it. I do wish there’d been a little more oomph to them. Speaking of Conrad, he’s the biggest failing in the book for me. When we first meet him, he’s a bully. Plain and simple. He intimidates the other children, he breaks their things, and at one point grabs Piper by the arm so hard it leaves bruises later. Words really could not describe how much I disliked him. And then we find out he’s actually aware of what the institute is hiding from the kids, and that all his bullying was actually to help them. That’s right. He was bullying them--trying to get them angry and use their powers--in order to help them. This left a horrifically bad taste in my mouth, especially because before this reveal we had actually seen inside Conrad’s head and his thought process for what he was doing, and there was no hint of that at all. I know that’s meant to make it even more of a surprise when Piper (and by extension the audience) finds out his true motives, but still. Surely there could have been a better way to go about all of that. The fact that he was never held responsible for any of this also irritated me a lot. Piper immediately forgives him and then acts as if they’re best friends, while Conrad continues to treat her abysmally. To the novel’s credit, they don’t end up as a romantic couple; they’re friends and allies, and I did find Conrad’s eventual ending very sweet, even if I didn’t particularly like him. Still, despite some of the failings the novel had, I ended up crying and cheering pretty evenly throughout the novel. I still love it, even while I recognize that it’s weak in areas. What can I say? Sometimes I just need a fun, nostalgia inducing, heartwarming fairytale in order to cheer myself up. And I can definitely say I’ll read The Girl Who Could Fly again just for that reason.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.