Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Review: The View from the Top by Hillary Frank
Title: The View from the Top
Author: Hillary Frank
Pub. Date: 5.13.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Love, Friendship, Choices, Split Narrative
Description (from arc):
Tobin won't miss anything about life in Normal, Maine, when he leaves for Conservatory... except for his dream girl.
Jonah would give up his players ways - and his best friend - for a chance with his best friend's girlfriend.
Lexie desperately hopes her crush will see her in a new light, but fears that her love will remain unrequited.
Matt is anxiously clinging to the past, afraid that he won't be a part of his girlfriend's brighter future.
Mary-Tyler wishes people would look past her weight and wealth and accept her for who she is.
And then there's Anabelle, the one who ties them all together. As she sorts out her love life and tries to make sense of her increasingly complicated friendships Anabelle begins to question how well her friends really know her... and how well she knows herself.
I knew had to read Hillary Frank's newest release when I asked one of the librarians at my local public library what she'd read recently and been impressed by and she named THE VIEW FROM THE TOP. Coupled with the fact that some of my recent favorites have been books that I had never heard of before, just randomly selecting them from the shelf, I knew that I had to give THE VIEW FROM THE TOP a shot.
I've been reading many wonderful contemporary YA novels lately and I always think that the next one can't possible be better than the last. I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer have a favorite book - I just can't pick only one! I was shocked by how quickly I was pulled into this novel and how deeply I identified with the characters, particularly Anabelle. I understood the characters and their motivations in such an intimate way, which caused an emotional connection to the story, and, I think, provided a more intense reading experience. But, even without this deeper connection, I think I would have loved this novel.
The story is told in alternating POV by the six different characters, each chapter and character beginning where the last left off. I've been reading quite a few novels done in this format and I'm really starting to like it. Seeing situations from more than one POV adds another dimension; it's like going from 2D to 3D. I was worried that having six narrators would be confusing, but this definitely wasn't the case. Each character had a unique voice and a completely different view of the summer... and Anabelle.
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP takes on many different, and sometimes sticky, situations. Some of these situations I've experienced myself, so it's understandable that I identified with those, but I felt a connection to the others as well, which can be only be credited to Frank's fantastic writing. I'll definitely be reading more by Hillary Frank!
I liked the cover before I read the book, but I loved it after.