Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: The Line by Teri Hall

Title: The Line
Author: Teri Hall
Series: The Line #1
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: March 4 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary:
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 mesmerizing 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.

My Review:
This book is extremely hard for me to rate because a lot of parts were really good and others I strongly disliked. There were so many easy things that could've been fixed to make it great. I think my biggest issue was the pacing. This book is only about 200 pages long. The first 100 were spent setting up the background. Halfway through the book did ANY action start. It was really slow for me at first. Like, really, really, really slow. Hard to get through. Then, about halfway through it started to pick up. Then it kept going, as more started happening, it kept going and going. I started really getting into the story and the mystery, which was awesome. It built up to a climax at the very end and then suddenly- cliffhanger.

Ah! It made me want to throw the book across the room. I felt like the book had just started and suddenly it ended. I don't mind cliffhangers, but after so much preparation in the first 200 pages I was expecting more. Put simply, I hated the ending. Because it's setting up for a sequel, I understand, but this book was short enough on it's own that I think this book and it's sequel should be combined into one (of course, I haven't read the sequel yet, but that's how I feel from just reading the first book). Because of the length and the end, it makes me wonder if the author wrote it as one novel and then the publisher decided to split it into two to make more money or something. But that's just my opinion.

In terms of characters, Rachel was too naive and not as intelligent as I would've liked. She was always surprised when it turned out her mom or her employer Ms. Moore had some secret about The Line or collaborators that worked against the government. I was a little frustrated by the fact that she never saw some of it coming. I predicted a lot of what would happen in this book, and for awhile I was right on. Then, getting towards the end, I was pleasantly surprised when the plot started moving and secrets were revealed that I'd never guessed. It would've gotten a much lower rating if it wouldn't have redeemed itself at the end.

Since I had mixed feelings about this book, I'm giving it a 3/5. It's pretty short, so I would recommend it, but beware that it only starts getting interesting about halfway through. The way it ended leaving me dying to read the sequel... I feel like it's hard to judge this book on it's own without the next one. I'll be sure to get my hands on that as soon as I can.
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Author Info: Website


  1. I read this a few months ago and I had a lot of the same feelings you did. When things started happening the story really took off! I also felt the same way about the ending. It really made me want the next book but it was frustrating!

    Great review!

  2. I got this one out from the library a few months ago, read the first couple chapters and really didn't get into it. Maybe if I'd stuck it out eventually it would have gotten more interesting, but from your review it sounds like it takes a while! Frustrating that it ends on a cliffhanger and that the protagonist is so naive... that would have bugged me too :(


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