Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Line - Teri Hall
Title: The Line
Author: Teri Hall
Publisher: Dial Books, 2010 (Hardcover)
Length: 224 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Dystopian Fiction
Started: April 20, 2010
Finished: April 21, 2010
From the author's website:
In the not so distant future…
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?
Another good example of dystopian fiction, and my favourite kind to boot: super evil government! There's a lot of back-history and world-building to this novel, and the author cleverly conveys the information to readers through Rachel's mother quizzing her daughter in her home-school history lessons. All the female characters are very strong leads, right down to Ms. Moore, the crotchety grandmother-type whose backstory is probably the most surprising of them all. Rachel is a very clear cut girl, she believes something's right or it's wrong, contrasted with her mother whose first priority is preserving the only thing she has left of the time before her husband died: Rachel herself. The plot grabs you and pulls you in right away, hence why I plowed through this so fast, I couldn't put it down. There's a lot of dimension to the story and some sub-plots to keep your interest. I felt that Pathik and the Others could have had some more development, they seemed very flat character-wise, but then I realized this was a series (of course), so the focus on the Others and the cliffhanger will be explored in the second book.
If you're looking for (yet another) good example of dystopian fiction, with some really compelling characters, read this! Keep in mind that there will be a sequel as you're reading the ending.
Thoughts on the cover:
I like the focus on the greenhouse since it's a focal point of the story (right down to Rachel's experiments with botany), and keeping the scene at night with the inside lit up is a nice touch.