All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

What’s Your St@tus? – Katie Finn

on December 3, 2010

**Note: Spoilers for Top 8**

What’s Your St@tus picks up 2 months after the end of Top 8 and life is going fairly well for Madison MacDonald. She’s been seeing her boyfriend Nate Ellis for those 2 months and everything is going great. She’s no longer a social outcast – the hackers were caught and punished and Mad is trying to move on. And her favourite social networking site, Friendsverse has a new part to it called StatusQ, which shows only status updates and none of the stuff like quizzes, fave bands and farms. It’s basically like Twitter and it’s Mad’s latest obsession.

Madison is helping plan the prom with Kittson Pearson, who is the head of the prom committee and with whom she is forging a tentative friendship. The two girls have their differences and their relationship is a bit snarky but they’re getting there. Madison and Kittson have very different ideas about what the prom should be like and it’s a constant battle between them. Madison is entrusted with the Hayes Crown that the homecoming queen of Putnam High is always crowned with by their assistant principal, Dr Trent, and ordered to take it directly to the Putnam Plaza where their prom is to be taking place. But Madison, being Madison, is delayed getting the tiara down to the hotel and it is stolen from the trunk of her car. It’s never a secret who steals the tiara, and why, and it’s someone Madison cares for and wants to help so she calls in the ‘old crew’ – Francophile Lisa, her boyfriend Dave, Schuyler, Kittson and her new boyfriend Glen Turtell, the perenially grounded Brian and her theatre buddies Sarah and Ginger to try and come up with an amazing plan to get the crown back before the prom and also, before Dr Trent realises that it’s not actually in the vault at the Plaza. Since the events of Top 8, which caused Dr Trent to reluctantly have to expel his favourite student, he’s had his eye on Madison and it’s not exactly a friendly one. He’s following their StatusQ updates and watching everything like a hawk and Madison realises they’re going to have to be extra sneaky if they can pull this off successfully. Because of Dr Trent finds out that something has gone wrong, Madison is likely to be shown the door as well.

While all this is going on, Madison and Nate are also having their first troubles. Nate is older than Madison and not far off graduating and he’s been somewhat involved in a prank at his high school. His assistant principal can’t prove it, but keeps hauling him in for questioning which makes Nate, who has been accepted to Yale, a bit stressed. He also refuses to tell anything to Madison so that she can’t let anything slip, which Madison resents. Madison also put her foot in it regarding how fast their relationship is moving and now both she and Nate are circling around each other, confused about the signals each other are sending and Madison finds out that Nate’s relationship with his ex (which he has never discussed with her) was quite a bit more serious than she previously thought. So not only is she stressing about the crown and having the prom night go off without a hitch, but she’s also stressing about the personal aspect of the prom too and just how things are going to be with Nate at the end of it.

After reading and really liking Top 8, I downloaded this sequel to my Kindle. I wasn’t sure how the formatting would go, as I know they utilise pictures and layouts like Facebook and Twitter, but to my pleasure and surprise, the formatting was flawless and smooth. We jump straight into some cute action with Nate and Madison, establishing their ‘coupleness’ as you don’t really get to see that too much at the end of Top 8 before Madison’s life takes an abrupt turn for the worse. I really like Madison, I think she’s a genuine character with flaws for all the world to see. In Top 8 she is a bit of a gossip, in What’s Your St@tus she is hurt and jealous about Nate’s previous girlfriends, but also giddy in her new relationship with Nate, letting her schoolwork slide, getting mixed up in others relationships again (this time Dave and Lisa’s) and she’s missing Rue, who was her best friend. Even though what Rue did to her was nasty and she was very hurt by it, she still misses the one that she automatically turned to with exciting news, her confidante. I think that Katie Finn nails teenagers, especially the way she writes Madison.

Madison is extremely busy with prom organisation and the detentions she keeps getting for being tardy due to rendezvous with Nate aren’t helping her time management. When the crown is stolen and the race is on to get it back, Madison is even busier as she tries to come up with the perfect plan, and then pull it off without anyone getting caught. The risk everyone has to take is fairly high and it’s a sign of strength in their friendships with Madison that they back her mostly unhesitatingly, even Kittson. And in this novel I thought Kittson was awesome –  a real interesting blend of icy prom queen and a girl who knows how to get her own back! That’s another thing I really love about these books – the cast of supporting characters. They are even more fun in this novel and the way they throw themselves into helping Madison is really sweet. They all have their roles to play, all of equal importance!

Madison learns another lesson in this novel, about communication and  how all the status updates in the world aren’t a substitute for, or an equal to, actually sitting down with someone and talking things out properly. It’s a lesson quite a few of the characters could learn and even though they make the most of StatusQ during their big plan, using it to implement different stages of it, when it comes to saving some friendships and some relationships, social networks are a poor substitute for face-to-face communication and heart-to-heart’s! I hope this isn’t the last we hear of these characters because I think there were definitely a few unresolved issues at the end of this book and with summer on the way, I can see another chance for a story.

8/10

Book #104 of 2010



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