Monday, June 14, 2010

The Line by Teri Hall

Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it's far from the city, where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it's close to the Line - an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country.

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she's never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It's a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

Written in mesmorizing prose, this futuristic debut examines one girl's struggle to risk crossing - not just the barrier, but the lines her mother has drawn to keep her safe from the secrets that Rachel is only just beginning to discover. (Taken from inside flap)

I had high hopes for The Line. The cover is gorgeous, it's a dystopian novel, and the plot sounded interesting. Unfortunately, The Line did not meet my expectations. The main problem for me was the execution of the book, which was done poorly. By no means was the writing awful, it just didn't flow right. The book was almost superficial; it was written in third-person, so it was difficult to get into Rachel's head and feel the things she was feeling. The book definitely felt like an outside observer was narrating the story. It also didn't help that the story changed point of view several times, but still kept everything at a distance with the third-person POV. The shifts between characters were anything but seamless, often occuring at random intervals. In addition to sudden changes, the characters did not have their own voices, most likely a result of the third-person POV, so it was difficult to tell what character we were following. For example, I would be reading about Rachel and then it would shift to her mother, but I would still think it was Rachel until something made it obvious that it wasn't her. This made the book a little disjointed. Another problem I had with The Line was the ending. It was extremely abrupt, like the author wanted to make the end a cliffhanger, except it just felt like the book was missing pages. So that was odd. Unfortunately, I could tell that this was the author's first novel.

However, I feel bad ragging on The Line, so I guess I can think of some good things about. The cover, for one. Wow, it is so pretty, I could stare at it all day. Too bad the book doesn't exactly match its beauty. Ok, I'm being pretty harsh. The Line wasn't all bad. I was able to finish the book, mainly because I wanted to know what happened in the end. I also ike what the author did with the oppressive government and dystopian aspect of the book. It's just that I had really high expectations for The Line and it wasn't as good as I hoped.

6 out of 10.

FTC: I borrowed this from my library.


Sadako said...

Sorry it wasn't good--I too thought it seemed cool from the cover/synopsis. Oh well!

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

Too bad you didn't like it!

To look on the bright side, at least you didn't buy the book!


Milli said...

O, bummer. huh? I should read it sometimes. The synopsis sounds good:D