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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review: The View from the Top by Hillary Frank


Title: The View from the Top
Author: Hillary Frank
Publisher: Dutton
Pub. Date: 5.13.2010
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Love, Friendship, Choices, Split Narrative
Pages: 272
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!

Grade: A+

Cover Notes:
I liked the cover before I read the book, but I loved it after.

44 comments:

  1. I CANNOT! wait to read this book! I love Hilary Frank's books! Have you read Better Than Running @ Night? I Can't Tell You? GREAT books! BTRAN is one of my favorite books! It restarted my love of reading!

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  2. i've read some mixed reviews on this one, but after reading yours i'll have to give it a shot. how could i pass up a book that got an A+? :)

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  3. It's interesting. I just read a really negative review last night, so now I've got both sides of the argument bouncing around in my head. I might need to read this book to see where I fall into things. ;D

    Great review!

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  4. I really want to read this and I am glad to see you enjoyed it :) Great review!

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  5. I love that cover. And an A+ review? Adding to the TBR.

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  6. This cover is mesmerizing. SO adding this.

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  7. I've been wondering what bloggers thought of this book but your review is the first I've read. It sounds amazing! I'll have to keep it in mind next time I borrow books from my library. (:

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  8. This is the first review I've read for this book. Sounds good.

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  9. I've read a few reviews for this novel and they've all been positive... too bad I can never find it in store when I want to buy it. :(

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  10. Wow, this sounds like a great book. Plus, the cover is very pretty!

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  11. That was an awesome review and I can't wait to read this book. I really like the cover

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  12. Great review! I love the premise of the book.Beside, I love the cover with the Ferris Wheel ;p

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  13. Loved your review. This is the second review I read for this book and they both say it is a must read. Definitely getting this book :)

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  14. I love this cover, too, with a font so fine and delicate. I would love to read this book, the subject is very interesting =)

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  15. What a gorgeous cover <3 I want to read this book so badly!

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  16. Ooh. I love alternating POV book. It's so interesting to hear the story in someone else's voice! Definitely going on my to-be-read list!

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  17. This book sounds really good. I've been looking for a YA romance novel and this seems to be it. I am a little worried about the alternating POV's though.I just hope that they don't all sound alike. Great review!

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  18. Sounds interesting. I really like the choice of names and I adore the cover *__*

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  19. I love it when you pick out a book at random without knowing anything about it and you end loving it!
    It's one the best things in the world!
    It sounds amazing, awesome review!

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  21. I've never heard of this book till now but it sounds fantastic! I like that the story is told from so many different POVs. It makes it more interesting! Thanks for the review! :D

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  22. Thanks for the review - six POVs! - should be interesting.

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  23. Great review! I'll ask my librarian the same thing the next time I go to the library! ;)

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  24. I am a follower. Can't wait to read this books. Sounds really good. Tore923@aol.com

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  25. Great reviews! This definitely goes to my wishlist

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  26. Wow, you do speak highly of this book! I'm sure I'm gonna enjoy reading it.

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  27. I keep going to my bookstore and they never have it! I might have to order it because it looks so good.

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  28. Glad to see you enjoyed this so much. I will definitely have to check this one out.

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  29. I would love to check this book out

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  30. Hadn´t heard of this book, but it totally looks awesome, I must read it.
    Great Review!

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  31. I also haven't heard of this book before! Interesting that it's done from so many POVs!

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  32. I like boos with multiple POV

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  33. I actually like the idea of alternating POVs. I like knowing what everyone is thinking and how every situation is diferent depending on who's narrating.
    I hadn't heard about this book before but now I want to read it :P
    Thanks!

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  34. I really like the concept of through these alternating POVs, we as the reader are able to see both the inside and outside of these characters, adding an enormity of depth in each of them. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did. The cover looks great!

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  35. I LOVE books with multiple POV's. It just adds so much more voice to the story!!! This book sounds great! I must read this.

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  36. Great review! I'm really interested in seeing how all of the alternating POVs read.

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  37. This book sounds great!! cool cover too!

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  38. I've had differing experiences with alternating chapter POV's but this book has been on my wish list for quite some time, I think I'll pick it up anyway.

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  39. Sounds like a book I would really enjoy reading. I'd like to give this one a try.

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  40. This book looks awesome and I haven't heard of it before so I'm really glad you're spotlighting it. :)

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  41. Great review! I've benn reading a lot of contemporary novels lately, and loved them! And just like you, I can seem to be able to hold on to one book as my favorite any more!

    And I really like book told in diferent POV, but they have to be really well written, or they just get confusing...

    I'm looking forward to rear it!! ^^

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  42. Looks like an awesome book, great review!(:

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  43. I have to confess I haven't heard of this before your giveaway, so I had to look it up and see what it's about. Thanks for the wonderful review. I would love to read it and see for myself as it sounds fantastic!

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  44. This book looks great! I am really happy i found this site because i am tired of reading the same book reviews on other sites. Now finaly this one has more books to chose from.

    I would try to go get this book right away but i live in rome so its kinda hard

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