Saturday, October 09, 2010

The View from the Top, by Hillary Frank

In seven chapters, told from six different viewpoints and stretched over several months, we get the stories of a group of recent high school graduates who are spending their last summer together. There's a certain complicated intertwining of relationships and the chapters reference each other, but for the most part each chapter has its own theme and stands on its own. The chapter titles ("A Mix Tape for Bears", "How to Eat a Chocolate Boob") are the best part.

I have to put this book in the category of "I don't get it." I'm no fan of artsy books and this one is very proud of its deep meaningful dialogue and largely non-existent storyline. Most of the action occurs between the chapters and so is (re)told in the past tense. The chapters themselves are exercises in navel gazing (and not the type that teens actually enagge in). The overall experience of reading this book was alienating and boring (and I don't read YA to be bored!). I'd suggest skipping this one, unless you actually get it.

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