Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on October 17, 2017. Hardcover: 288 pages.
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Diverse Characters & Stories, LGBTQIA
The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.
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.
“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”
A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.
Malinda Lo is an author I have been wanting to read for a while now, and preparing for my diverse books presentation gave me the excuse to pick this one up! And I must say, overall I enjoyed this!
I love a good mystery/thriller with an unreliable narrator, and Jess Wong fits this bill well. I know that you aren’t supposed to trust a narrator you know to be unreliable, but I just felt connected to Jess in such a way that I wanted to believe everything she said and thought and saw. Her voice pours off the page, inviting you to listen carefully and keep a watchful eye for what is about to happen.
Honestly, the first 60% of this book is a slow-burn–it is quietly developing each of the main characters in a way that will keep you interested until the end. Lo spends a lot of time setting up for The Revealed Moment, which comes at you fast and hard. Like, OMG I must sit here and read the rest of this book right now hard. Even with the odd change in narration, the pacing of the story does not suffer, and it kept me guessing until the end.
High schoolers will appreciate the intricacies of this psychological thriller starring a queer Chinese-American comic-book artist. This one may not grab your reluctant readers, but it is sure to please your mystery junkies (especially if they are seeking diverse reads)!