Book Reviews, Young Adult

A Line in The Dark by Malinda Lo | Book Review

Title: A Line in The Dark

Author: Malinda Lo

Series: N/A

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Romance, LGBT+

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication date: October 17th, 2017

Pages: 288

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Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

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“I keep staring at myself until I stop wanting to throw up, until my heartbeat slows down, until I feel more like I’m swimming through than trying not to drown.”

I cannot tell you how disappointed and sad I was and still am about this book. To be completely honest with you, I was really excited when I first heard about the story. It seemed like it was going to be a great thriller read, with some dark and creepy stuff going on. And… it wasn’t. At all.

There were a few things that I enjoyed throughout the book, but for the most part I was pretty bored and had some issues with the story and some of the characters in it. I feel a bit betrayed because THAT WASN’T WHAT THE PREMISE PROMISED. I thought it was going to be a gripping dark and exciting novel, and well… that’s not what a thriller’s supposed to be.

“I stare at her. She’s sad. I made her sad. I’m such a jerk. I feel like I’ve tainted our friendship. I know I should walk thi back, but all I can do is walk out.”

I’m still not sure how I feel about those characters. I loved the diversity the book had, but I have to say there were some problematic things happening in the book. At first I didn’t mind the plot that was developing, but it came a time where I couldn’t help but notice that our main character was kind of jelaous of her best friend’s girlfriend. I get why Jess was doing everything and how much she cared about Angie, but I think sometimes that portraying was a bit too problematic.

And it’s so sad because I adored the relationship between Jess and Angie. They were super adorable and you could see how much they loved and cared for each other. Since you’re mostly in Jess’s head, you got to know more about her thoughts and her relationship with her, but there were other parts of the book that showed you that complicity they had.

One of the parts that I really enjoyed was the process of Jess creating a comic. As an art lover, I usually tend to like when a character is artistic and shows their  talent in a story. And sometimes it seemed like the story she was writing and drawing and the path the story was taking were interconnected. However, that mostly didn’t happen, so I didn’t really get why we were given so much information about that side story.

“I turn around to leave and wait for Angie to say my name, to tell me to come back, but she doesn’t say a word; and before long I’m at the end of the driveway, and then I’m on the sidewalk, and I’m walking, farther and farther away, and Angie doesn’t call me back.”

Like I mentioned before in this review,  despite liking some things about this book, I was pretty bored, guys. It was supposed to be a thriller, but I didn’t get that edge-of-your-seat vibe. The whole plot was so lineal, and nothing was really happening during most of the book. And a few times I debated whether or not DNF it, because I wasn’t liking it that much to finish the book.

However, I’m glad I keep going, because the ending was the best part of the book. I really enjoyed the last 70 pages, and that’s the main reason I gave this book more than two stars. There was something that happened in the very end of the book that I adored, because otherwise it would have been a bit tropey. Still, I kind of expected something like that, so it didn’t blew my mind completely. But it was a nice way to end a story.

Overall, though I was really excited about this book, I had some issues with the whole plot development and characters. I loved the diversity and the ending, but most of the time I was a bit bored.

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