Author: Teri Hall
Hardcover, 219 pages
Date Published: March 4, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads)
An invisible, uncrossable physical barrier encloses the Unified States. The Line is the part of the border that lopped off part of the country, dooming the inhabitants to an unknown fate when the enemy used a banned weapon. It’s said that bizarre creatures and superhumans live on the other side, in Away. Nobody except tough old Ms. Moore would ever live next to the Line.
Nobody but Rachel and her mother, who went to live there after Rachel’s dad died in the last war. It’s a safe, quiet life. Until Rachel finds a mysterious recorded message that can only have come from Away. The voice is asking for help.
Who sent the message? Why is her mother so protective? And to what lengths is Rachel willing to go in order to do what she thinks is right?
Rachel has lived on The Property with her mother, Vivian, for as long as she can remember. Before her father’s death, Rachel lived in a city, a city she cannot remember and a place she never wants to live again. Ms. Moore owns The Property and employs Vivian in the capacity of a housekeeper. The Property borders The Line, which was created years upon years ago to separate the Unified States from a possible attack. Those on the other side of The Line were trapped there and when bombs were dropped, the radiation ended all chances of a rescue. The stories and myths speak of evil creatures and crazy people who will kill you in an instant. Rachel and Vivian border this mysterious world, but have never experienced anything strange themselves. Their lives may not be the best on The Property, but they aren’t bad. Rachel and Vivian are far from the government’s interference and have been living a peaceful and dull life bordering The Line. All of that changes when Rachel’s curiosity gets the best of her and she discovers more than she ever bargained for.
Teri Hall has created a brilliant debut with The Line. This dystopian novel is one of the best I’ve ever read and I don’t say that lightly. The Unified States could easily resemble our world if the government stepped in and changed everything we know. That’s the thing about dystopian novels; in a way, the reader could actually imagine his or her world like the world presented in the book. I could picture the United States that I know as the Unified States. That, in itself, is terrifying.
It’s really difficult to get into too much about the book, without giving away key plot points, but I will say that The Line is definitely worth reading. The story begins in a typical dystopian fashion. The government has stepped in and begun to control everything. There are taxes and new laws and if you have something to hide, then the government has a reason to cart you away. Rachel understands it all and she agrees with her mother that the government cannot be trusted, but she soon realizes exactly why her mother doesn’t trust the government. A simple event opens Rachel’s eyes to her mother’s flaws and also gives her some insight into who Ms. Moore really is. The Line is an invisible boundary separating everyone from Away, but what happens when someone from Away asks for help? Rachel soon discovers an entire world of secrets that changes her life forever.
The Line is the opening book of a series and it certainly opens with a bang. It’s not a non-stop action book, but I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I read it in just a few hours and I so wish the next installment would come more quickly.
Opening line: It seemed to Rachel that she had always lived on The Property, though this wasn’t true.
Favorite lines: You can’t be brave without being afraid. The brave ones are always afraid.