BOOK REPORT for The Line (The Line Book 1) by Teri Hall
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: 1984
Bonus Factors: Orchids, Indigenous People, Kickass Gram
Relationship Status: Boring First Date, But Then He Sent Me Flowers . . . .
Rachel and her mother have lived on Ms. Moore's property ever since Rachel's father died while off fighting a war. Ms Moore lives on a remote property near The Line, an invisible barrier that the government erected to separate the country from Away. Rachel has always wondered about the inhabitants of Away - people who were nuked back during some sort of international war. But the government is totally militant, her mom is crazy strict, and her mom's boss, Ms. Moore, could probably kill you with her brain.
Then one day, while exploring Mr Moore's property, Rachel receives a message, a cry for help, from someone in Away. All of a sudden she's learning things she never knew about her parents and Ms Moore, while trying to decide whether she has the guts to step over The Line and into Away.
BFF Charm: Meh
It's not Rachel's fault, I guess. But I just can't offer my BFF charm to someone SO BORING and so studious about answering her mother's home-schooling lessons. I mean, obvs, if Rachel WEREN'T so studious, then we the readers would never learn anything about The Line or Away, because this book is totally a Tell, not Show type of book (in the form of endless "pop quizzes", but I'm a person who REALLY hates exposition.
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
This book is the first in a series (more on that a bit), so while both Rachel and the boy I presume will soon be her love interest are introduced to the reader, they don't meet each other until, like, the third to last page. Not so much with the sparkage.
So why the 4? Well, that's all due to Ms. Moore's recounting of her hot and forbidden affair, 40 years ago! Ms Moore! Go on with your bad self! Just, you know, don't go crazy, or anything. We don't want you to break a hip. Maybe put on some Sarah McLaughlin and light some candles, or something.
Talky Talk: 1984
You'd think that'd be a bonus factor, cause I LOVE 1984, but alas, no. You know how 1984 had its own special utopic/dystopic language, like double plus good, which is still a term I use when I want to explain that things are copacetic? UNFORTCH, in this book, the made up words are kind of STUPID AND LAME, like the fact that they say "digims" instead of photographs or pictures. DIGIMS?
(ALSO can I just say that apparently in The Line, glass is now really rare and very expensive, SO HOW DO THEY HAVE SO MANY PHOTOGRAPHS? Cameras have glass lenses, people! Unless your camera is a lomography camera, like my new toy, the Diana F+. Are all their photographs actually lomography photographs? Is The Line entirely populated by hipster douchebags? MAYBE.)
Bonus Factor: Orchids
Hey! Who doesn't like flowers? Flowers are pretty and make people smile and when they're having a bad day and they come home and there are flowers greeting them, it makes them happy. (Just FYI, future suitors/stalkers.) And while I typically would prefer the bright, cheerful faces of pansies or the spicy-sweet smell of stock, I find orchids to be totally pretty and elegant! And it's kind of nice to think that even in a dystopia, people are still shelling out to buy Ms Moore's carefully harvested orchids.
Bonus Factor: Indigenous People
After the bomb dropped on the people who were stuck in Away, they scattered and started forming small tribes to conserve resources and stay alive. Soon, they all had names based on their sixth sense or skill (the fallout from the nuke sort of enhanced the abilities of the people of Away) and were passing folklore and legend around the campfire. I don't know if any of them were wearing JORTS though.
Bonus Factor: Kickass Gram
Okay, so Ms Moore isn't Rachel's grandmother, but she is a grandmother AND she kicks ass, and I love her, and I'd really much rather this book been about her than boring, lame ol' Rachel who can't even do what she's told.
Demi Lovato as Rachel
Although I think Demi is actually a little too old for Rachel, she's the first person I thought of. Someone has to save the endless exposition, surely.
Relationship Status: Boring First Date, But Then He Sent Me Flowers . . .
I was super excited to go on a first date with this book! I'd heard a lot about him before hand, and I felt, frankly, pretty honored that he would choose to go out with me. But then he was totally . . . . dull! Oh, sure, he looked good, all slim and dark, and other people had told me he was the best date they'd been on all year, but he did nothing for me. He kept yammering on about things that happened 20 years ago, instead of telling me anything that was going on in his life now. He told me where he worked, and then spend half an hour telling me about how, thirty years ago, someone once sued his company for damages related to a puddle of water, or something equally tedious. I honestly couldn't wait for the day to end.
And then! And then! He sent me flowers the next day (FYI no one has ever done that for me in real life - I can't decide whether I would be horrified or if my panties would melt)! With a card that promised that our next date would be at an adventure park, and that maybe after that, we'd go skeet-shooting, or something. And now I am conflicted. I want adventure . . . but I wanted adventure on the first date, too! Why didn't he give me some then?
FTC Full Disclosure: My review copy was a free ARC I received from Penguin. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!).The Line is already available in stores.