Title: Top 8 (Book 1 of the Top 8 Series)
Author: Katie Finn
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Age Rating: Readers above the age of 13
My Opinion: 2/10
I purchased Top 8 for fifty cents at a library book sale because it looked like a cute book about high school and social media. Well, my prediction was dead on. The book was ALL about social media. On almost every single page, characters were wondering how others would feel about their virtual profiles and how they would affect their lives. I mean, who cares?
Madison MacDonald's Friendverse profile is hacked while she is on vacation in Ecuador. Nasty gossip is posted about all of her friends. She discovers the changed profile as soon as she gets back, but she is too late to stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her and her friends from hating her because of the posts. Now, Madison has to try and regroup her social life both on and off of social media. She goes on a mission to discover her hacker, and clues lead her to suspect almost all of her friends. Along the way, Madison reconnects with a cute boy that she met in Ecuador, named Nate. Finally, Madison realizes that the hacker has been under her nose the entire time. She also learns the important lesson that gossiping can hurt people's feelings. Yawn.
Instead of ranting on and on about how silly this book was, I decided to compile a list of Five of the most unrealistic and impossible things that happened in Top 8:
- Madison meets a cute boy, Nate, in Ecuador on vacation. Then, they just happen to live ten minutes away from each other in the United States. THEN, their families just happen to have dinner together after the trip, even though they barely know one another. Can I say, Awkward!?
- Madison's boyfriend of 17 days breaks up with her because her profile is hacked. He's a real keeper, Madison. She then spends the rest of the book trying to get back together with him. WHYYYY?
- Clues about Madison's hacker are practically handed to her throughout the novel, but she either gets sidetracked in the middle of an important conversation or forgets a major clue. The funny thing is, Madison continuously references Sherlock Holmes and Clue, but yet she's the worst detective alive.
- Madison never tells an adult that she was hacked. If she just told someone, she would fix the entire situation and simultaneously avoid being hacked again.
- Madison's Friendverse account is hacked TWICE and she never even considers deleting her account.
Ugh, so many aspects of this book made me want to slap some sense into Madison. She is obviously not responsible enough to use the internet in the first place, no less have a social media account. She makes so many assumptions about her friends that she doesn't know what is the truth and what is a lie. She spreads vicious gossip about all of her friends behind their backs, and when it is posted on social media, she has the nerve to think she is not at all guilty. Plus, she reads way too much into simple conversations (example - "After twenty minutes of staring at Nate's messages and trying to decipher hidden meanings in them...").
My advice - don't read this book. You would be better off spending your time on, well, anything else.