A review by iamcaseyrkelley
Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I read this book back in my early twenties in 1993 when it was first released. I loved it then. I just reread it again for the Black Booktok Book Club because we wanted to celebrate the 30th anniversary and we all loved it when we read it the first time. I realize now that I probably only liked it because of the limited selections of Black authors and I was hungry for representation in books. Reading it now, I am thoroughly confused how we loved this book and how it became a classic of the culture. I really believe it is because we were just happy to see books that centered Black characters outside of historical fiction and heavy literary fiction. I can’t unsee a twenty something year old man writing about extremely promiscuous middle school and high school girls. It feels so icky. When I read it the first time, I didn’t realize that this was considered Young Adult Fiction. Of course, YA back then wasn’t really the genre it is now. There were very few books that were what we would consider today as YA. It definitely feels like a YA reading it now because of the immaturity of the characters and the adolescent decisions. But at the same time, there’s adult themes - drug abuse, parents in emotional abusive relationships, a lot of sex (at least they used condoms), parents that separated but still have complicated relationships. The book was called Flyy Girl as if it is really about one character, but there were so many random side plots that were unnecessary. The two star rating is generous simply because of nostalgia because it barely deserved one star.