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THE VIEW FROM THE TOP by Hillary Frank


by Hillary Frank

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42241-9
Publisher: Dutton

Melancholy vignettes of the summer after high school in a dead-end, seaside town called Normal. Loosely centered around sad, insecure Anabelle, one of the few seniors leaving town to pursue college, the narrative perspective shifts among Anabelle’s friends and classmates as they each tell their messy, intertwined tales of unrequited and ill-advised love affairs, self-destructive impulses and deepest fears. All of the characters, standing at the crossroads of late adolescence, are miserable as they try to puzzle out who they are and where they’re going; their desperation makes for a heavy, albeit developmentally on-target read. Frank doesn’t offer any tidy happy endings, but there is cautious optimism, and the story finds its grace in the details:  One character’s body feels “like a teakettle before it whistles,” and another compares the sky and the trees to “a slow silent film” as she floats on her back in the water. (Fiction. 14 & up)