Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Line (MG/YA)


The Line. Teri Hall. 2010. March 2010. Penguin. 224 pages.

It seemed to Rachel that she had always lived on the The Property, though this wasn't true. Her mother, Vivian, said they moved there when she was three years old, but Rachel didn't remember. To her, The Property was home. She felt as comfortable there as she did in her own skin. But she knew that for most people, The Property was too close to the section of the National Border Defense System known as the Line. The National Border Defense System enclosed the entire Unified States. The section called the Line was only a small part of it, but because of its history it was infamous, at least locally. Strange things were supposed to happen near the line; dangerous things.

Rachel lives with her mom, Vivian, on The Property. Her mom works for the seemingly prickly Ms. Moore. (Her mom is fortunate to be Gainfully Employed. It saves them both from the dreaded Labor Pool.) Soon after the novel opens, Rachel begins working for Ms. Moore too. Rachel begins working in the greenhouse, learning all about different plants and flowers. Learning about pollination and seedlings. But when Rachel isn't working, she's busy studying. With her mom. Learning the truth. Learning about things the way they really are. As opposed to the way the government, the media says they are. Rachel is learning the truth about the past, but she has yet to connect all the dots. How those truths relate to her own past, her parents' past. But the time is coming when all will be revealed...

I am drawn to dystopias. I always have high hopes for them. I always want to love them. Always looking for good ones to recommend. Because I know that I am not alone. I know that there are other people out there who just love dystopias too. But. The Line was an almost-but-not-quite for me. I'm not quite sure why it didn't work for me. I think perhaps it was a bit too slow in some places. And I wasn't really loving the way everything was revealed. It could have been a bit more mysterious, perhaps? Have you read this one? What did you think?

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Ladybug 5:53 AM  

I'm sorry that this book was a disappointment for you, Becky. I haven't read it nor I'm I going to run to the store to buy it. Thank you for your honest review.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 2:33 PM  

I have heard decent things about this one, but I don't think I've seen many that have be blown away by it.

I think perhaps it's a bookmooch request for me if I do get a copy.

MariannetheLibrarian 12:23 PM  

I've read it and like it for the most part. I thought the characters well drawn and the reveal slow enough to be enticing. I thought the connection to the Bill of Right interesting as well as how our government has "evolved." It could be a helpful book to discuss how freedom and the loss of liberties is a slippery slope.

The cliff hanger ending left me slightly ticked off though.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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