Far away from the overcrowded cities where the oppressive government tyrannizes its people and the only thing that ensures a decent life is money, Rachel and her mother live and work quietly on The Property, owned by the distant and aloof Ms. Moore. Bordering the Property is the Line, the most notorious section of the invisible boundary that borders the country. No one is allowed in or out. No one knows what is beyond the Line...until Rachel receives a mysterious recording, begging for help. Now everyone on the Property will have to decide to do what is right, or what is safe.
Teri Hall's debut novel is absolutely captivating; her smooth storytelling and completely convincing and authentic voice bring the story to life and make it all the more chilling and believable. Hall presents the history of the country in a detailed (but certainly not boring) manner that highlights political struggles, a domineering government, and the horrors and terrors that are bred with war, relating them to a society that is not unlike our own and subtly warns against the use of nuclear weapons.
Those messages aside, the novel is full of strong female characters as well; resourceful Vivian who had to raise Rachel on her own, the secretive Ms. Moore, who knows more about the Line than anyone would ever suspect, and Rachel, who is torn between standing up for what is right and following in her mother's footsteps of playing it safe and becoming invisible.
The Line is a complicated knot of twists and secrets, surprises and revelations that only becomes more and more complex as you delve deeper into the story. And once you believe you've untangled it all, it is then that the biggest mysteries of all are revealed. Hall's debut novel is stunning, and it will leave you hanging in anticipation of a sequel and pondering the outcomes for many hours after the final page is turned.
Cover Comments: This cover is unbelievably amazing--I love how creepy it feels! The greenhouse is perfect, as it is relevant to the story, and I just love the colors used. The font is very modern, which fits as the book is a futuristic read. This is one of the best, most outstanding covers I've seen in a long time!
The Line was intriguing, mysterious, and wonderfully suspenseful! When I first started, I had no idea what to expect. Hall fills the reader in easily on the details of the world Rachel lives in. Naturally, the intro takes awhile to explain some details about the way life is, and how Rachel's mom Vivian works on The Property for the fabulously sassy-and-sorta-mean Ms. Moore. Vivian has always encouraged Rachel to be strong, smart, and to always question what the real truth … more
Grade 7–10—For as long as she can remember, Rachel has lived a quiet life on The Property. Following her father's disappearance and assumed death in a war, her mother has been working as a live-in domestic for Ms. Moore, an orchid grower. But now that she's older, Rachel is consumed with questions about the Line, an invisible border that runs near the greenhouse at the back of The Property, separating the Unified States from Away. It is only when she receives a mysterious message from beyond the border that she begins to learn about her country's true history and the parts her parents played during the War. Hall's first novel gets off to a slow start, and the somewhat convoluted plot and two-dimensional protagonists may lose readers at the beginning. The writing relies heavily on overly long descriptive passages rather than allowing character development and dialogue to move the plot forward. For more engaging dystopian novels, suggest Lois Lowry'sThe Giver(Houghton, 1993) and Michael Grant'sGone(HarperTeen, 2008).—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.