Title: The View From the Top
Author: Hillary Frank
Eighteen-year-old Anabelle’s last few months in her coastal hometown are bittersweet. Instead of the quiet pre-college summer she expects, Anabelle makes some surprising discoveries about herself as she navigates romantic entanglements and changing friendships. Through shifting points of view in seven interconnected stories, we glimpse the limits of how well her friends really know Anabelle . . . and how little she grasps about the way they see her.
The View From the Top is an unprecedented but quite disappointing read that presents different yet normal teenage problems through six different viewpoints that are poorly executed. Each character is unique and original, but readers will truly feel disconnected and alienated towards them. The transition between the viewpoints is rough and unpolished. The main storyline and themes are irrelevant and vague to each other, making for a dismantling and broken read.
Annabelle is supposedly the 'glue' in The View From the Top but the ties she has with the five others (Tobin, Jonah, Lexi, Matt, and Mary-Tyler) are random and complicated. Her decisions and actions are predictably annoying and inconsistent. Although The View From the Top explores themes such as sexual preference, and friendship, those themes are discharged in a way that is quite hard to relate to.
Hillary Frank is an author with solid ideas and a strong voice, but the exposition and the characters are vague and two-dimensional. (D-)
The Bottom Line: Quite pointless and sadly, boring.
My reaction/enjoyment: 2/10
Total Score: 44/100 (D-)