What is the Line? It’s the invisible but very real border that the government built to keep the people of the United States safe — nobody (and nothing) can walk or drive or fly in. No one can really get out, either — unless the government says so, but that’s good for everyone, right? If it keeps us all safe?
Rachel has always felt that the Line was a good idea. Her life outside the city, on the Property, with her mother and the woman they work for, has been pretty isolated from the heavy hand of the government until events on the Property begin making her question, even more deeply, the way things are. And while she’s curious about the Line and, of course, what’s on the other side, she fears it, too. Especially when she finds something that makes her think that someone out there is trying to contact those within the Line, she starts asking questions and seeing things that make her mom seem more nervous than usual. What the heck is going on?
So, it’s a very interesting premise — that’s why I picked it up. Dystopian all the way with an in-your-face nosy government and an intriguing history that takes our fear of “the other guys” to the nth degree by just closing them out completely. Interesting, yes? Disappointing, though, is the fact that the narrative voice just never got off the ground for me — the language is rote and unembellished, but not in a sparse way, more in a flat way. Maybe it is just designed to appeal more to middle-grade readers than to young adults, since there isn’t even a spark of romance until the last two pages (when I finally knew for sure that this was yet another book with a sequel, dang it) and I never could really tell what age Rachel was. I liked the premise enough, though (despite being vaguely predictable and obvious at times), and it wasn’t BADLY written — it just wasn’t beautifully written. A nice three-star book introducing younger readers to ideas of national security and government. I’ll read more to find out what happens.