Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on October 17th 2017
Genres: young adult, mystery-thriller
Buy on Amazon
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.
First things first, A Line In the Dark features awesome lesbian representation. Nearly all characters are female. and the few that are male are only on the page as a parent or a brother, and I loved that, and I loved the relationship dynamic between all the women, and the different conflicts presented. How often do we get a lesbian love triangle? I’d like to see more of them, honestly, as long as they are well done. Love triangles can be tricky.
The book is set in East and West Bedford, a city that is somewhat near Boston. It’s divided into West Bedford and East Bedford, with the latter being the rich part of town. The kids that live in East mostly go to Pearson Brooke Academy, which is a private boarding school. Angie works at the Creamery in East Bedford, but lives in West Bedford, attending the public high school there. She meets Margot while working, and the two begin a relationship, much to the disappointment of Angie’s best friend Jess, who has been in love with her for years. Margot is an Academy student, and she and her best friend Ryan have quite the reputation there. Angie wants Jess to be okay with her new relationship, so she tries to force Jess into hanging out with Margot, and she ends up getting invited to Margot’s Christmas party in Marblehead. Disaster strikes that night, and something horrible happens.
I loved the first half of the novel, and to be completely honest, the halfway POV switch didn’t really bother me that much. I’ve always been into quirky novels so I went with it. It was the end that I didn’t like. And I don’t really know how to explain it without a spoiler, so I’m putting it under a tag.
View Spoiler » So, Ryan gets killed in the woods. Margot confesses to the murder, which is totally anti-climactic, but then there’s this epilogue that comes out of nowhere, and it ends up being that Angie killed Ryan, and Margot covered for her. But here’s the thing. It just didn’t fit with Angie’s character that she could do this. And it’s funny, both Margot and Angie use the excuse that they didn’t realize what they were doing and that it was an accident. How many people shoot someone and actually pull the trigger but then say it was an accident? Your finger pressed that trigger. Most people don’t have it in them to murder others, I don’t think, and it just wasn’t believable to me or authentic to Angie’s character. And now supposedly Margot is likely to get out of it because she confessed before she had legal representation? I mean, I suppose that is a thing, but it seems like a total plot cop-out to me. Towards the end, Angie kisses Jess, and it seems like she wants to be with her but stays with Margot, and obviously she does this because Margot confessed for her, but she’s not really happy about staying with her. So the end of the novel is Angie being unhappy and staying with Margot and it’s just not the kind of ending that I find satisfying. « Hide Spoiler
So there you have it. Disappointing endings seem to really affect y enjoyment of a book, but I will say that A Line In the Dark is compulsively readable and I managed to finish it in less than a day, which is saying something for me these days. It’s not very often that I am able to turn my editing brain off and just enjoy a book. I went along for the ride and I didn’t hate it, so I do recommend it, it just wasn’t the most satisfying mystery I have ever read.