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The View from the Top Hardcover – May 13, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1 edition (May 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525422412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525422419
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,659,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Set during the summer after senior year, this novel is told from the viewpoints of six very different teens. Five of them, boys and girls, are all infatuated with Annabelle, though it is difficult to tell why. Even when the story shifts to her perspective, she remains a distant character. As Annabelle breaks up with her boyfriend and sorts out her feelings toward two other boys (one a charismatic bad boy and the other a fellow musician who would like to be much more than friends), her needy best friend (who is also attracted to her), and a new acquaintance (a summer visitor to their small seaside town with self-destructive tendencies), emotions run high. Of course, this is still high school, or at least its direct aftermath, so overblown reactions are not out of place. Unfortunately, these scenes frequently feel heavy-handed. This quick read may appeal to melancholy teens heading off to college.Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Everything begins and ends with Anabelle in Frank's richly layered, interconnected short stories about a group of small-town high-school students in their last summer before college. Anabelle's egocentric boyfriend, Matt, calculates how the quality and quantity of his art will increase as a result of their inevitable breakup. Jonah, Matt's buddy and resident Lothario, considers hooking up with Anabelle to distance himself from a messy dalliance with an older woman. Lexi, Matt's sister, is trying to work up the courage to tell Anabelle that she wants to be more than friends, while rich, depressed Mary-Tyler has a chance meeting with Anabelle that raises both of their spirits. Quiet, intense Tobin, who loves Anabelle from afar, contemplates telling her how he feels when they find themselves together at the top of a Ferris wheel at summer's end. And Anabelle? She is just struggling to understand who she is, let alone who she is in a relationship. These elegantly written character-driven episodes, each from a different point of view, intimately examine issues of unrequited love, social class, and identity seeking through pitch-perfect interactions that teens will find achingly familiar. Like Natalie Standiford's How to Say Goodbye in Robot (2009), this quirky love story about falling for yourself first will appeal to teens' hearts and heads. Grades 8-12. --Jennifer Hubert

Customer Reviews

I loved the alternating chapters as well.
princess bookie
Very well written and engrossing, I loved this book.
Tina
The ending was okay, but nothing really happened.
Jude

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sara VINE VOICE on August 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tina on June 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The View From The Top was an intersting YA read. I even hesitate to say YA because, unlike many other YA books other there, the main character Annabelle is actually older than the "norm" at 18 years old. Interestingly, the author has chosen to take this character and give her some "life altering" experiences at this age - very daring choice.

This book worked for me. It is loaded with imagery - such as the entire Ferris Wheel - where our main character's life echoes the ferris wheel - going up and around - and, in many instances, looking down and realizing that you are "not in Kansas anymore". Loved it.

I thought that the main premise of having Annabelle surrounded by guys that like her or that she likes (not necessarily the same thing) was a bit much - but, it did make the point that the author was trying to get across, so it was easier to accept as part of the storyline.

This is definitely a coming of age story - which shows that there truly is no real age to start "growing up". In fact, the entire message of this book is basically that you will keep learning life lessons -all through your life - but it is how you deal with them and what you do with the lessons that are truly important.

Very well written and engrossing, I loved this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By princess bookie on June 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My Thoughts: Wow! I did not expect this book to be sooo good and to enjoy it as much as I did. I loved the alternating chapters as well. I liked knowing what each character thought. We meet Annabelle who connects all the other characters in this book. She is dating Matt, but she has feelings for Jonah but Tobin has feelings for her. Than there's Mary Tyler who has secrets all of her own and the same with Lexi. This book was really good. Who does she end up with? Matt? Tobin? Jonah? Or someone else entirely? We get to go through each characters feelings and discover how they think. My favorite scene was either the sand scene between Annabelle and Mary Tyler or the Ferris wheel scene towards the end of the book. This book was a favorite of mine!

Overall: This book was a definite good one! Fans of Susane Colasanti will probably like this. It had the same vibe. I enjoyed it A LOT!

Cover: Love It. At first, I didn't think it related to the story but there is a Ferris wheel scene in the book. The cover is really pretty!
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By Jude on April 1, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
~1.5/5

"'That they can stay together. That they can be high school sweethearts and stay together. I just thought, if you’re devoted enough, if you never stop showing each other that you’re totally, completely in love, you can get through anything.’” (Hardback, pg. 121)

I’m honestly just disappointed in this book.

I thought it sounded really good, and I love multiple point of view stories, and the cover is really pretty. I felt like this was going to be a good book. And then it really wasn’t.

It starts out just kind of boring, as we meet the first character, the one who entwines all of the other stories. But then we meet the other characters, and find out that pretty much all of them are in love with her, even the other girl character, and then we get to the end.

I was just expecting so much more, so much more complications and twists and plot. Instead it’s all kind of boring. Nothing big happens. I didn’t understand why all the characters loved this girl, whom I didn’t really care for, and it didn’t even seem like she loved herself. The ending was okay, but nothing really happened. It didn’t feel deserving or satisfactory, and it kind of just ends.

I was just disappointed. I was expecting to like it, and instead I really didn’t.

[More of my reviews are available on my blog, Geeky Reading, to which there's a link on my profile.]
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