Lindsay's Reviews > The View from the Top

The View from the Top by Hillary Frank
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's review
Jul 31, 11

I was so disappointed with this book I don't think I can explain it in the 19922 characters I have left to do so. I picked it up from the library last night in high hopes. The short blurb on the back made it seem like the novel was a sweet, nostalgic story about summer friendships and love in the small town of Normal, Maine. That's what I was expecting. Something charming and sweet and innocent. But that's exactly the opposite of what I received upon reading "The View from the Top".

First of all, the characters. I don't think there was one I even felt inclined to reading about. They were all wooden, selfish, wretched teenagers who deserved to be sent away to boarding school. Maybe then they would realize it isn't okay to throw rocks through other people's windows and sneak into their neighbor's million-dollar-worth pool at three in the morning. Those were two events that did, in fact, happen in the book. And with no consequences, of course.

The "heroine" (although it seems ridiculous to call her that since she was almost as selfish as every other character mentioned in the story) was a girl Anabelle Seulliere. Fresh out of grade twelve, Anabelle had three months left in her town of Normal, Maine. Three months to sort out her love life and finish the everlasting friendships she's made in her eighteen years of living in the town. The book was like reading a soap opera. First she was dating Matt, then Tobin liked her, and then she didn't like Tobin, and then she broke up with Matt because she thought she had a chance with Matt's best friend Jonah. And then Jonah maybe liked Anabelle, but it turns out he liked Matt's MOM, but Matt's Mom was really dating Tobin's DAD so that didn't work out quite as well as he planned. Yes. That was basically the climax of the book. I find it embarrassing to have to write about something so stupid and shallow. And to top things off, Anabelle only liked boys who liked her back- she didn't actually think about their inner values, not until the very last chapter. But by then you were so sick of her selfishness that you didn't really care about her sudden change of character.

Have you ever read a book, and realized that half of the characters had absolutely no purpose in the story? Have you ever read a book, and realized that there isn't really a plot? If you haven't, and you plan on reading "The View from the Top", be prepared to face both these things. I promise that you will have after finishing this book.

And half the sub-plots brought up in the book were never even resolved. Maybe that's the toll you have to take after writing the book in five different perspectives, with only 230 pages to do so. I hardly got to know any of the characters- but then again, maybe that's a good thing. They were so spoiled and snotty I'm not sure I wanted to anyways.

As a side note, I started the book at about ten o'clock Friday night and finished it one o'clock Saturday afternoon, so it's a pretty quick summer read for anyone who likes short stories.

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