Friday, November 14, 2008
Top 8 by: Katie Finn
Total: Two and a half stars (Tolerable)
Katie Finn's debut novel, aptly called Top 8, tells the story of Madison MacDonald, who comes back from a family vacation to find her Friendverse profile hacked. Friendverse is basically the unwanted love child of MySpace and Facebook, incorporated elements of each into some weird mis-matched that somehow worked out okay.
Madison is sort of a floater at high school. She has several really close friends (all, of course, in her Top 8 on Friendverse), Ruth, Schuyler and Lisa, but is friends with everyone including the theatre kids, the computer nerd, the 'It' couple, some of the inner circle, and jocks.
Before break, Madison had it all: cute boyfriend, starring role in the school play, tons of friends.
Now? Not so much. Madison's been hacked and the Fake-Madison said some terrible things, she even broke up with Real-Madison's gorgeous boyfriend!
Well, this was okay. It was in the same vein as At Face Value , but I liked that one quite a bit more. Frankly, Finn's novel was a bit tiresome.
The ending, aka the Whodunnit?, (by that I mean who hacked Madison's profile) was completely obvious from the context clues. The ending was very clean cut. No ties were left loose and it was too unreal. Life isn't like that!
Worse than that, sometimes it just plainly didn't make any sense. I wasn't sure if some lines/paragraphs were supposed to be off-kilter jokes or if they were just...off-kilter. Some heavy editing, maybe even a change to the ending, would've helped.
That being said, Top 8 was filled with other inconsistency. At times Madison is a beautifully flawed characters, whilst in the next chapter she's a too-perfect Mary Sue type. Sometimes, Madison seems like a real, honest to God, high school student. Other times, her school/home life is just nonsensical and non-fitting for a teenager.
I think that Katie Finn should continue writing, because she obviously has some talent, but buying another book from her will be a hard sell for me.