A Line in the Dark
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.

A Line in the Dark Details

TitleA Line in the Dark
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherDutton Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780735227422
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Mystery, Lgbt, Contemporary

A Line in the Dark Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    I really feel like this book was poorly marketed. If you're anything like me, you were drawn in by that gorgeous and sinister cover, and a title that seems to promise something dark and creepy - but the book's content is very different. There were some things I liked, but overall it lacked the darkness and thrills required for a mystery/thriller.Let's start with what I did like. I quickly realized that A Line in the Dark was not the book I was expecting; that it read more like a quiet contempora I really feel like this book was poorly marketed. If you're anything like me, you were drawn in by that gorgeous and sinister cover, and a title that seems to promise something dark and creepy - but the book's content is very different. There were some things I liked, but overall it lacked the darkness and thrills required for a mystery/thriller.Let's start with what I did like. I quickly realized that A Line in the Dark was not the book I was expecting; that it read more like a quiet contemporary about art and having an unrequited crush on your best friend. But I didn't mind this. Shattered expectations can be a good thing.Jess wasn't entirely likeable, but she was a complex and sympathetic character. The relationship between Jess and Angie is told really well. The former always having felt like the weird, overweight, and less attractive sidekick to her beautiful best friend. I think her pain when Angie starts dating Margot is palpable and real, making me think this book might have made a better contemporary about the dynamics between them (yes, I am advocating a love triangle! pigs might fly yet).I also like how Jess expresses her darkest emotions through comic book art, portraying a queer love triangle that obviously contains parallels to her real life. The art aspect was interesting and complemented the story without overtaking it (I, personally, am not a fan of plots where art is the main focus).As I said, not what I was expecting, but not bad either. Then, around halfway through, the mystery/thriller angle is introduced. Suddenly, the book doesn't seem like it is about Jess's inner struggle, her complex relationship with Angie, queer romance OR art. It is about whodunnit, and it is just not that thrilling.There's a strange POV shift at this point from Jess's first person narrative to an omniscient third person perspective. Lo changes everything you thought you were reading and I thought the shift was awkward and unneeded. A Line in the Dark went from being a quiet, thoughtful contemporary to being a mediocre thriller with a rushed (and fairly predictable) ending.The whole second half of the book feels messy - from the move away from the things we had come to care about to the decision to tag the twist on in one single short chapter, making it not only predictable but anticlimactic as well.A confusing read full of highs and lows.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    This was weird. And not in a good way.I know this is marketing itself as dark, creepy, and atmospheric, but I'm going to be totally honest: it's not. There is embarrassingly little atmosphere. The tone is uninteresting, but occasionally inconsistent. And truly, this book just doesn’t go dark enough. The only creepy thing about this book is something I'm pretty sure wasn't meant to be creepy - Jess' crush on Angie. I had a crush on my girl best friend once. It was deep. It was intense. It was not This was weird. And not in a good way.I know this is marketing itself as dark, creepy, and atmospheric, but I'm going to be totally honest: it's not. There is embarrassingly little atmosphere. The tone is uninteresting, but occasionally inconsistent. And truly, this book just doesn’t go dark enough. The only creepy thing about this book is something I'm pretty sure wasn't meant to be creepy - Jess' crush on Angie. I had a crush on my girl best friend once. It was deep. It was intense. It was not this obsessive. Guys, this crush is.... bad. I would actually be scared to have Jess as a friend. She unabashedly staring up Angie's crotch - twice. And honestly, yikes, that’s not okay. If the author weren’t a lesbian herself I’d call it the predatory lesbian trope, because that is totally how it feels. And unfortunately, I feel like Jess’ lowkey creepy crush on Angie is the only part of the book that actually gets fleshed out. Margot feels like a one-note villain. Angie feels like a blank slate pretty girl. Jess feels like a blank slate less pretty girl. Ryan feels like another one-note villain and a homophobe to boot. None feel compelling. The whole book feels as if it’s itended to be an exploration of intense sapphic girl friendship and the line between friends and lovers, but it just doesn’t go there. And the minimal exploration there is feels bogged down by the sheer creep factor of Jess’ crush. The other thing is that the mystery isn’t that compelling. This is the kind of mystery that needs to be driven by characters, and these characters failed me. Worse, the mystery doesn’t pop up until the second half, by which time I was already inwardly marking this down as a three at most. Oddly, the book is very clearly divided in half by a very messy switch from first to third person in the middle of the book, which honestly just made the book feel weirder. The ending could’ve brought this to a three, but it honestly failed for me. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!! (view spoiler)[It feels as if the ending is based off the assumption that readership has either invested in the characters enough to care, OR totally assumed Margot’s confession was real. Neither was true for me; Margot’s confession in particular felt way too obvious a red herring. (hide spoiler)] Perhaps I would’ve liked the ending if it had been explored in full in terms of how it effects these characters, but it honestly just kind of… happens. (view spoiler)[And then the book ends immediately. I am completely serious. (hide spoiler)]I will say that I’m sort of glad there are beginning to be more books with this much diversity so I feel like we can sort out the good from the bad? Maybe we'll get a whole string of YA-ish sapphic Asian girl thrillers next year. I fucking wish. But I’m super disappointed this fell into the bad category for me. I will say that the writing is solid, but there’s just not much else. I’m sorry, guys, but this was a total disappointment.Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • Joce (squibblesreads)
    January 1, 1970
    1.5 starsSEE MY VIDEO REVIEW HERE! Unfortunately this had everything I wanted but nothing was executed to my satisfaction. The two halves of the book did not come together (first person in the 1st half and 3rd person + texts and transcripts in the 2nd half). There was an excess use of the modifiers "really" and "super", which adds superfluous bulk to the writing and shows that the word choice wasn't strong enough and needs to improve. There were also times where one thing would be explained mult 1.5 starsSEE MY VIDEO REVIEW HERE! Unfortunately this had everything I wanted but nothing was executed to my satisfaction. The two halves of the book did not come together (first person in the 1st half and 3rd person + texts and transcripts in the 2nd half). There was an excess use of the modifiers "really" and "super", which adds superfluous bulk to the writing and shows that the word choice wasn't strong enough and needs to improve. There were also times where one thing would be explained multiple times.
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  • Riley
    January 1, 1970
    I really wanted to like this book :(Pros:-There's great diversity-Asian main character-queer girls Cons:-The first half of this book was so boring I almost quit many times-I didn't like any of the characters so I just didn't care what happened to them-there was a shift from first person to third in the second half that felt strange. it almost made this seem like two different books-the thriller aspect wasn't at all thrilling and the conclusion was just annoying I'm really sad I didn't like this I really wanted to like this book :(Pros:-There's great diversity-Asian main character-queer girls Cons:-The first half of this book was so boring I almost quit many times-I didn't like any of the characters so I just didn't care what happened to them-there was a shift from first person to third in the second half that felt strange. it almost made this seem like two different books-the thriller aspect wasn't at all thrilling and the conclusion was just annoying I'm really sad I didn't like this book because Malinda Lo has written one of my all time favorite books but this one was overall a disappointment
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  • Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
    January 1, 1970
    A Line in the Dark is a book that came highly recommended to me, and since I was already eyeballing it in the store, I felt like this would be perfect for a November read.I was right, because I truly enjoyed this book.The book follows a teenage girl named Jess, who is extremely passionate about drawing. Jess has a best friend named Angie and the two have been thick as thieves for a really long time, until Jess notices a girl approach Angie at the Creamery where she works and it kind of puts a we A Line in the Dark is a book that came highly recommended to me, and since I was already eyeballing it in the store, I felt like this would be perfect for a November read.I was right, because I truly enjoyed this book.The book follows a teenage girl named Jess, who is extremely passionate about drawing. Jess has a best friend named Angie and the two have been thick as thieves for a really long time, until Jess notices a girl approach Angie at the Creamery where she works and it kind of puts a wedge between them.Margot is gorgeous and has her eye out on Angie, which makes Jess extremely uncomfortable and jealous because of her own feelings towards her best friend that she is unable to express or too scared to. The two start dating and Angie and Jess end up in a fight because Angie notices that Jess doesn't seem to like Margot but at the same time Angie isn't aware of Jess' feelings towards her.Jess attends an art program at the school that Margot goes to (a boarding school for the wealthy) and that causes her to stumble onto some deep secrets that Margot and her best friend Ryan are hiding.Well, this secret leads to Ryan's death after a Christmas party and these kids end up being investigated because they are the last to see Ryan alive.This book is done in two parts. The beginning throws you into what happened, but the first part is before the incident and the second part is the investigation following the incident. I thought this book was really well done, I really enjoyed the writing, the characters, the plot was interesting. It had diversity, but it also had a plot.This is not a book that is meant to be spooky, and I know some people felt that way when they saw the cover. This is actually a contemporary young adult with a mystery and a twist. It's about a girl, who is trying to sort of find herself as well as try to deal with the fact that the girl she is in love with, she cannot have.This book, I am warning now, does not come with a happy ending. It is not a romance, even if it features a romance.It also reads as an older Young Adult, it is sex positive, but no there are no explicit sex scenes in it. It does have drinking and some cursing.I did have a hard time putting this down, I was completely invested in the plot line and the characters and I really wanted to know what happened. The ending threw a real curve ball and it was, I did not expect that but it explained some things.The only issue I think I have is that, the beginning was not how the rest of the book completely unfolded and I felt that the killer should probably have been more affected maybe by what happened? But all in all, I really enjoyed this, it was an interesting read and I always appreciate a book with diversity and a good, engrossing plot line.This review was originally posted on Night Owl Book Cafe
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI'm a sucker for a psychological thriller and the synopsis coupled with that gorgeous cover sold me.I liked Jess well enough. She's loyal and smart and just a bit stalker-ish to keep me guessing on what she was up to. I felt like Angie, Margot, and Ryan were never really fleshed out. I'm not sure if it was on purpose, but it was quite effective in making me not trust anyone.Plot wise it was more of a quiet anticipation than a thriller. It was slow moving, but I was interested the entire 3.5 starsI'm a sucker for a psychological thriller and the synopsis coupled with that gorgeous cover sold me.I liked Jess well enough. She's loyal and smart and just a bit stalker-ish to keep me guessing on what she was up to. I felt like Angie, Margot, and Ryan were never really fleshed out. I'm not sure if it was on purpose, but it was quite effective in making me not trust anyone.Plot wise it was more of a quiet anticipation than a thriller. It was slow moving, but I was interested the entire time. I would have liked more at the ending, especially after everything was revealed. It was a shock and then it was over. The only other thing is that it randomly shifts from first to third person and that felt clunky and took me out of the rhythm of the story.Overall, it was a quick read with enough of a creepy factor to keep me engaged.**Huge thanks to Dutton Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come!
  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest, I was expecting this to be better, as I LOVED her last SF dulolgy, especially the first book Adaptation; those books were exciting and page-turning and had great alien conspiracies and bisexual romance. Unfortunately in A Line in the Dark there were quite a few things that didn't work for me: very awkward POV switch two thirds of the way through, flat characters, and just a general not great grip on the thriller genre conventions. The twist ending fell flat for me, partially becaus To be honest, I was expecting this to be better, as I LOVED her last SF dulolgy, especially the first book Adaptation; those books were exciting and page-turning and had great alien conspiracies and bisexual romance. Unfortunately in A Line in the Dark there were quite a few things that didn't work for me: very awkward POV switch two thirds of the way through, flat characters, and just a general not great grip on the thriller genre conventions. The twist ending fell flat for me, partially because I didn't really care about the characters. It feels a bit like a novelist trying out a new genre that they're not really comfortable in or familiar with!It felt like a break of the mystery/thriller contract between the author and reader; you can't just have a first person narrator omit a crucial scene but share everything else so that the reader doesn't have that information and then say, aha, look at what you didn't know! That's not how you structure a mystery and not how you do an unreliable narrator. I could tell what the book was trying to do (a kind of teen audience version of the best of Megan Abbott), and it certainly had potential, but it didn't deliver for me. At least it had POC lesbian characters? I don't know, maybe teen readers less picky about character and mystery plots will enjoy this just fine cause it's 'dark.'
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  • Sue (Hollywood News Source)
    January 1, 1970
    Let’s get something straight, this is not an f/f romance. There’s no “happy” ending about it. A Line in the Dark is a mystery thriller that fuses relevant themes in the plot. It isn’t dark or twisted per my standard. The plot is straightforward, it’s predictable. However, it’s engaging which what matters the most. I finished it in one gulp. It’s fast paced. You’ll like and distrust the characters at the same time.The story follows Jess Wong, who’s in love with her best friend Angie Redmond. They Let’s get something straight, this is not an f/f romance. There’s no “happy” ending about it. A Line in the Dark is a mystery thriller that fuses relevant themes in the plot. It isn’t dark or twisted per my standard. The plot is straightforward, it’s predictable. However, it’s engaging which what matters the most. I finished it in one gulp. It’s fast paced. You’ll like and distrust the characters at the same time.The story follows Jess Wong, who’s in love with her best friend Angie Redmond. They’re your standard YA BFFs; the twist is both are queer. The dynamic of their friendship started to change when Angie met Margot Adams, who’s the IT girl from a nearby boarding school.A Line in the Dark is about two best friends who started to have a warped relationship with each other. It’s unhealthy dynamic while it’s not explicitly challenged, although there’s acknowledgement cues in the text. It wasn’t brushed under the rug for the sake of queer female friendship. I like that three of the main characters are queer. The book didn’t used any labels, though I love that all of their parents are supportive – in their own ways, especially Jess’s parents. That’s very nice to read. There’s also the Chinese-American diaspora supporting details. In addition, there’s a contrast between going to a public school vs. private boarding school, and how classism affects socialization between teens. The heroine struggled with fitting in, not because she’s queerpoc but because of other extra baggage. She’s not traditionally beautiful, she’s into art, and her parents wanted her to be feminine and studious in AsAm standard. She’s awkward, and not like her best friend who can freely mingle with everyone. Her family is not rich, and her best friend already has someone else.  That simply made an impact on me. The story follows a Chinese-American queer teen, and her identity is relevant to the plot, but it’s not the plot. My only complaint is that I wish the ending is more detailed.Overall: the main themes of this book are jealousy, murder, and loyalty. A Line in the Dark is a great standalone novel. I’ll be recommending it.
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    4.75 starsA Line in the Dark is the first contemporary mystery I've ever loved.It's a story about unhealthy friendships and relationships between three teenage girls, all three of them queer.The narrator is Jess Wong. She's Chinese-American, she has always loved art, and she's in love with her best friend Angie. This crush is unrequited, and that becomes even more clear when popular, beautiful Margot starts flirting with Angie. But Margot and her rich friends are not good news - under the money 4.75 starsA Line in the Dark is the first contemporary mystery I've ever loved.It's a story about unhealthy friendships and relationships between three teenage girls, all three of them queer.The narrator is Jess Wong. She's Chinese-American, she has always loved art, and she's in love with her best friend Angie. This crush is unrequited, and that becomes even more clear when popular, beautiful Margot starts flirting with Angie. But Margot and her rich friends are not good news - under the money and the pretty faces there are many secrets.Not the ideal situation, but guess what - it gets worse.I really liked Jess. She struggles to fit in, and she's not flawless. I love reading about contemporary characters who are flawed and somewhat unreliable narrators. They feel real to me.All the side characters were memorable. Characters like Margot are fascinating and a bit scary, and Angie surprised me too. Everyone stood out to me.Mystery/Thriller books with queer characters are not common, and A Line in the Dark is a mystery in which there are more than two lesbians, and none of them dies.It's noteworthy that I never had to force myself to read this. I was never bored. And that rarely happens to me with contemporary books.Half of this book is told in first person, the other half in third person present, and surprisingly, this didn't bother me. Maybe because I knew it was coming, maybe because I was really invested in the story, I don't know. But I think this PoV shift made sense.However, I don't think the execution of the mystery aspect was perfect. The ending was unsatisfying, and it should have been longer. You shouldn't sacrifice the ending just because you want to shock the reader - that felt messy.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    YES. GIMME MORE COMMERCIAL QUEER LADY GENRE YA FICTION. I looooooooved this. Delightfully flirts those lines between obsession, love, and friendship. An unreliable narrator? *thinky face emoji* Oh my, yes. Perfect for fans of Kara Thomas or, if I have to say it, E. Lockhart.
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  • CW (Read Think Ponder)
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE: It's been a few hours since I finished this book and 1) I've bumped up the rating because I've given it more thought, and 2) I cannot stop thinking about it.I take back what I said about the ending being a missed opportunity regarding the character development. Thinking about it more carefully and reflecting on the events that led up to the ending, I'm now more inclined to say that Lo's storytelling was fantastic. Without giving away what happens, the second half of the novel weaves such UPDATE: It's been a few hours since I finished this book and 1) I've bumped up the rating because I've given it more thought, and 2) I cannot stop thinking about it.I take back what I said about the ending being a missed opportunity regarding the character development. Thinking about it more carefully and reflecting on the events that led up to the ending, I'm now more inclined to say that Lo's storytelling was fantastic. Without giving away what happens, the second half of the novel weaves such a complex and fascinating account of what we do for those we love - and the middle ground we find because of it. I was too hung up on what actually happens and didn't give enough thought to everything that leads up to it - the possible manipulation, the lies, the truths, the cat and mouse game played by the characters in the book. I think the ending is something that requires more reflection and engagement than what is on the surface. I was wrong before (as below); A Line in the Dark is more than I thought it was.Trigger/content warnings: (view spoiler)[anti-lesbian, death (hide spoiler)]-A Line in the Dark is a good book with complex and morally grey characters, and a tense story, but it left me wanting.- I enjoyed reading this very much. I enjoyed the direction of the story (contrary to what others thought), the narrative (especially from Jess's perspective), and the ambiguous nature of the plot which kept me guessing. Indeed, I was compelled and curious.- It explores sexuality, friendship, revenge, and how we, especially teenage girls, are defined and perceived.- The first part of the story is from Jess's perspective (thus first person), whilst the second part is in third person - although the transition felt disjointed, it worked for the purpose of how the story eventually unfolds.- However, I've rated this book 3.5 because I was left wanting by the end. The first part of the book is character-driven, and how Lo explores her characters and their desires and motivations was fascinating. So when the second part of the book shifts in focus to a more whodunit surrounding a tragic and mysterious event, I felt that the lack of character development was jarring - and it left me wishing there was more, particularly since the *event* had such an impact on the characters. It felt like a missed opportunity.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded upThis book suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. The cover (which is what first drew me to the book) portrays a super creepy, goth feel but that's not really what the book is. The book itself is almost like 2 books. The first part is great. It's a first person narration through Jess. Jess is a high school girl trying to figure her life out. There is a lot here about identity and the intense friendships girls develop at this age. Then someone dies and it becomes a mystery/thrille 3.5 rounded upThis book suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. The cover (which is what first drew me to the book) portrays a super creepy, goth feel but that's not really what the book is. The book itself is almost like 2 books. The first part is great. It's a first person narration through Jess. Jess is a high school girl trying to figure her life out. There is a lot here about identity and the intense friendships girls develop at this age. Then someone dies and it becomes a mystery/thriller. When that happens the narration switches to a third person omniscient narrator and loses some of the intensity. The reveal of the actually mystery itself feels rushed and is a bit predictable. All that being said, I still really liked this and tore through it wanting to know for sure how it all ended up.
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  • Danika at The Lesbrary
    January 1, 1970
    Oof. I can't say that was fun. It was quick read, and captivating, but even before it got into the mystery, it was painful to read. That toxic friendship and jealousy gets to me. No one is particularly likable, and there's no real moment of catharsis after that strangled, uncomfortable feeling that permeates the whole book. It's well done, but it wasn't exactly enjoyable for me (which is why I'm not rating it.)
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  • Taryn Pierson
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t read much realistic young adult fiction. It’s just not my jam. I already lived through high school once and taught it for another four years, so when it comes to teen angst, I’ve graduated twice. But I love YA fiction that brings another element along with it, like a historical bent or a bizarre fantasy world or a dystopian nightmare scenario. A Line in the Dark is a delightful combo: a YA thriller. And it’s super thrilling because it’s a known and universally accepted fact that there is I don’t read much realistic young adult fiction. It’s just not my jam. I already lived through high school once and taught it for another four years, so when it comes to teen angst, I’ve graduated twice. But I love YA fiction that brings another element along with it, like a historical bent or a bizarre fantasy world or a dystopian nightmare scenario. A Line in the Dark is a delightful combo: a YA thriller. And it’s super thrilling because it’s a known and universally accepted fact that there is nothing scarier than a teenage girl.Jess and Angie have been best friends forever, but there’s always been unacknowledged tension between them because Jess’s feelings are more intense than Angie’s. When Angie starts dating a girl from the fancy private school across town, the tension grows into something bigger and more deadly. And that’s probably all you need to know about the plot, because I don’t want to take away from the slow burn and eventual catastrophic explosion of this book. Teenage girls, a love triangle, complicated feelings, backstabbing, and manipulation. What could be better?I was nervous about this book because I’d seen some mixed reviews, but I took the risk and bought the hardcover anyway. I am delighted that I was totally vindicated! And now I have that beautiful, sinister cover to adorn my bookshelf and my Instagram feed. I don’t think it’s a spoiler content-wise to say that there’s a big structural shift mid-book, and that’s what some readers have taken issue with. For me, though, that perspective change is what elevates A Line in the Dark above all the predictably structured novels you can find on YA shelves today, and I say props to Malinda Lo for trying something new.Highly recommended for fans of dark mysteries and authors like Megan Abbott.More book recommendations by me at www.readingwithhippos.com
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  • Ava
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this! A phycological thriller with queer girls + Chinese main character + drama + secrets = perfection. But I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Here's why:- There's a shift between first and third person POV halfway through, and it felt awkward. I liked the first person much more. - I wanted more from the ending? It wasn't what I was expecting, but it just shocked me and then it was over. Maybe that's the point of a thriller (I don't read many, obviously), but I wasn't a I liked this! A phycological thriller with queer girls + Chinese main character + drama + secrets = perfection. But I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Here's why:- There's a shift between first and third person POV halfway through, and it felt awkward. I liked the first person much more. - I wanted more from the ending? It wasn't what I was expecting, but it just shocked me and then it was over. Maybe that's the point of a thriller (I don't read many, obviously), but I wasn't a fan. - It wasn't as *thrilling* as I expected / wanted. Other than that, I obviously still recommend this one! Add it to your TBRs and prepare for its release in October.
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  • Rena
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*I have thoughts about A Line in the Dark : partly that the mystery was slightly lackluster (you could see whodunit early), but mostly that Malinda Lo's writing and the unrequited love between Jess and Angie were the best parts of this book. If it had just focused on their "relationship," and expanded from there, it would have been a better read, for me at least. There wasn't enough build-up for me to invest in who was killed or why.
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a classic the things we do for love type book. I read it in one day and it's a super quick easy read. I enjoyed it but I would not consider it to be a favorite. I enjoyed the characters but didn't love them enough to completely be invested in them. By the time the book was over I just kind of went... oh... okay then. I was impressed because it did have a better ending than I thought it was going to and the book kept me guessing throughout it which was great but overall when I think This book is a classic the things we do for love type book. I read it in one day and it's a super quick easy read. I enjoyed it but I would not consider it to be a favorite. I enjoyed the characters but didn't love them enough to completely be invested in them. By the time the book was over I just kind of went... oh... okay then. I was impressed because it did have a better ending than I thought it was going to and the book kept me guessing throughout it which was great but overall when I think about this book all I think is I liked it but I didn't love it and it certainly wasn't the worst book I have read this year so far! Longer review coming soon! :)
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Super quick and super queer - two things I like a lot. I thought the ending was a little rushed and I wanted more from it and of it, but overall definitely a positive recommendation.
  • Yune
    January 1, 1970
    En muchas partes este libro me ha tocado de forma personal. Empezando por Jessica Wong, la protagonista.Jess tiene una mejor amiga y esta enamorada de ella, siempre la apoya y nunca la deja sola, sus sentimientos hacia ella eran tan intensos y palpables que pude sentir todo su amor y su añoranza, y el no poder exteriorizar esos sentimientos por miedo a perder a su mejor amiga. Además estos sentimientos me parecieron tan inocentes y puros, por ejemplo en una escena Jess dice que tiene una regla; En muchas partes este libro me ha tocado de forma personal. Empezando por Jessica Wong, la protagonista.Jess tiene una mejor amiga y esta enamorada de ella, siempre la apoya y nunca la deja sola, sus sentimientos hacia ella eran tan intensos y palpables que pude sentir todo su amor y su añoranza, y el no poder exteriorizar esos sentimientos por miedo a perder a su mejor amiga. Además estos sentimientos me parecieron tan inocentes y puros, por ejemplo en una escena Jess dice que tiene una regla; nunca pensar en el cuerpo de Angie (su mejor amiga) de forma sexual o imaginar que la besaba porque sentía que era irrespetuoso, ni tampoco intentar masturbarse pensando en ella por la misma razón, pensaba que le estaba faltando al respeto a Angie.Esto me hizo pensar en mi propia relación con mi novia, recordé cuando antes de comenzar nuestra relación pensaba y sentía exactamente lo mismo que Jess, me toco en el corazón de una forma que no puedo expresar haber leído esos pensamientos en un libro.Jess en si es un buen personaje, no es perfecta, tiene defectos, es insegura, se menosprecia y es celosa, a veces tiene pensamientos egoístas, y realiza actos que dañan a otras personas, sobre todo a su mejor amiga. Pero por esta razón me gusto la protagonista, la sentí real, como cualquier persona no es buena ni mala, es más compleja que eso. Es muy inteligente y es una artista, ella dibuja comics y en ellos el lector puede ver sus sentimientos plasmados en la historia que ella misma esta construyendo. Me encanto su personaje.Angie es dulce e inocente, aunque tampoco es perfecta, su inocencia la lleva a cegarse muchas veces y no querer ver la realidad pensando que las demás personas tratan de dañarla o arruinar su felicidad. Aunque conforme avanza la lectura la autora nos enseña una faceta de Angie que no es nada agradable, ella es egoísta e incapaz de decidir que es lo mejor para ella y las personas que ama, que la lleva a cometer un acto terrible. Además Angie está en una relación con una chica y termina siendo victima de abuso por parte de su novia, Margot. Y hablando de Margot, ella es controladora, manipuladora y trata de separar a Angie de Jess, no le agrada que estén siempre juntas, incluso llega a creer que Angie la engaña con Jess. Sin embargo al final demuestra lo mucho que le importa Angie pero también muestra una gran dependencia hacia ella. En si la relación entre Margot y Angie es toxica.Pero a pesar de ello me gustó, porque es un contraste entre la mayoría de personajes LGBT que hay en muchos libros, donde todos son lindos, amables y adorables, y su relación a pesar de terminar bien es muy plana y sin fondo. Es como si trataran de decirnos que si queremos ser mínimamente reconocidos como humanos debemos ser perfectos, esto es idealización y más deshumanización. Una carga más añadida a la que ya arrastramos.En este libro todos los personajes principales son mujeres saficas, y cada una de ellas es compleja y diferente entre si, pueden ser celosas, amables, controladoras, inseguras, abusivas, confiadas y con un gran corazón; ninguna es perfecta, es humana.La autora trata la complejidad de estos personajes sin tratar de demonizarlos, es decir, al escribir una relación toxica entre mujeres no intenta trasmitir un mensaje negativo de las mujeres lesbianas y bisexuales, simplemente es que a veces las relaciones se vuelven insanas porque las personas podemos ser desagradables y abusivas, quien sea.Ahora bien, el misterio que rodea a los personajes, que es la trama en si y no la orientación de las protagonistas, no me pareció tan impresionante ni novedoso, sin embargo la forma en que se resolvió me pareció interesante y bastante bien construido, la autora da pistas falsas y cuando crees que el misterio se ha resuelto la trama da un giro y te muestra la verdad. Disfruté de esta parte del libro porque la autora hace atrayente el conflicto, además que no fue predecible y eso es algo difícil de lograr en este tipo de género.
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  • Danny
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5 Pros:-Loved the diversity! Queer girls+Chinese main character.-Super quick read was intrigued with the story!Cons:-Ending was a bit rushed-POV shift -Wasn't as "thrilling" as I was hoping it would be
  • PinkAmy loves 💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏
    January 1, 1970
    GRADE: B4 STARSIf a tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it fall, did it make a sound? The philosophical conundrum attributed to Charles Berkley makes me ask, “If a novel highlighting mental illness never mentions mental illness, is the book still about mental illness?A LINE IN THE DARK is marketed like a psychological thriller, but reads more psychological than thriller, though mental illness is never addressed. Jess and her best friend Angie have an enmeshed relationship, mostly from Jess’ GRADE: B4 STARSIf a tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it fall, did it make a sound? The philosophical conundrum attributed to Charles Berkley makes me ask, “If a novel highlighting mental illness never mentions mental illness, is the book still about mental illness?A LINE IN THE DARK is marketed like a psychological thriller, but reads more psychological than thriller, though mental illness is never addressed. Jess and her best friend Angie have an enmeshed relationship, mostly from Jess’s side of the friendship. When Angie starts dating Margot, a girl from a nearby boarding school, Jess becomes more possessive and at one point even stalks Angie. Someone goes missing and turns up murdered. The investigation reveals even more about all the girls and their relationships, including those not mentioned in this review.Jess narrates the first part of the book and the epilogue. The second half of A LINE IN THE DARK contains police interviews and different third person points of view. Also contained in this novel is Jess’s comic book, an allegory for her internal struggles and the plot. I’m not a fan of stories within stories. I think they take away from plot and character development. This was the third or fourth I’ve read in recent months and I haven’t liked any of them.Jess was a character hard for me to champion. She was selfish, controlling, dishonest and downright mean. Had she been over eighteen, her unhealthy attachment to Angie, poor impulse control and risky behavior could have been diagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder. Had Malinda Lo chosen to delve into Jess’s psyche rather than gone with the comic angle, A LINE IN THE DARK would have been a five star read. I also wish Jess’s experiences as a first generation Chinese American had been further explored.I didn’t understand why Angie wanted to continue her friendship with Jess, especially after Jess stalked her.Plot wise, the murder mystery was less interesting to me than Jess’s psyche and the twisted friendships and romantic relationships in the book. Despite its flaws, A LINE IN THE DARK was an enjoyable read and is a book I’ll probably reread in the future.
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  • Shelly
    January 1, 1970
    Psychological thrillers aren't typically my thing but I really liked this one! I wasn't really sure where the mystery was going to go and I was pretty shocked at the ending. Like a few reviewers noted already, the switch from first person to third person in the second part of the novel didn't flow too well and I also preferred the first person narration to be continuous instead. Overall, A Line in the Dark is a thrilling mystery that is perfect for your fall TBR.
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  • Karina
    January 1, 1970
    *A huge thanks to Penguin Random House for providing me an eARC. This,by any means, did not affect nor influence my review."3.5 starsTwisting, dark and disturbing, A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo is a diverse read that explores the depths of friendship, identifying and accepting one’s sexuality, love obsession and murder.What I liked:• Dark atmosphere and eerie vibe from the very beginning.• We were welcomed by an intriguing prologue but the story started 14 weeks ahead of the time when the pro *A huge thanks to Penguin Random House for providing me an eARC. This,by any means, did not affect nor influence my review."3.5 starsTwisting, dark and disturbing, A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo is a diverse read that explores the depths of friendship, identifying and accepting one’s sexuality, love obsession and murder.What I liked:• Dark atmosphere and eerie vibe from the very beginning.• We were welcomed by an intriguing prologue but the story started 14 weeks ahead of the time when the prologue occurred. It took us back from the very beginning of it all. We followed every step the characters took till they reached that scene on the prologue and it helped a lot on giving us a sense of direction on the story.• It wasn’t about “goody-goody” type of teenagers. Jess, Angie, Margot and Ryan, all of them have their own secrets and flaws – they carry this certain darkness in their characters – which contributed a lot on making this book felt more dark and mysterious.• It didn’t focus on f/f romance which was a bit surprising given how the characters and their relationships and feelings toward each other were introduced. In fact, the main character wasn’t involved in any romance at all. It focused more on friendship, loyalty, sexuality and even obsession.• The narration from Jess’ perspective. This left me not entirely knowing what was happening since I can only see things from her perspective.• Lo created another world inside this world through Jess’ comics. It kind of gave us a glimpse of what was going on Jess’ mind. Because despite we are following the story through her perspective, Lo managed to make me feel like there were still a lot of things about Jess that I wasn’t seeing.• The insane ending. I thought I got things figured out. I thought I can already safely rate and draft my review. I thought since I was on the last chapter, I already reached the end of it all. MAN, I WAS SO WRONG. I literally cursed while reading the epilogue.• After reading this I felt like a huge idiot for underestimating this book. All the thoughts I had, the rating I was so sure of giving, all of those, I began to question. It suddenly left me not knowing what to believe anymore.Have I mentioned that this also diverse? It has Asian characters and Jess, Angie and Margo are queer as well.What I didn’t like and actually prevented me from really enjoying this:• The writing. The writing was not really good but not that bad either. It was just okay.• It was boring for most of the first part.• It neither gripping nor intriguing. I started to be really intrigued when a murder case finally came into the picture which was almost halfway through the book already.• It is a thriller but it is not thrilling at all.If you are finding a really good YA mystery or thriller book, this is actually not the book I would immediately recommend but if you are just into a dark read with Asian and queer characters that explores friendship and obsession, you might want to check this out.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    I'm torn. A Line in the Dark on the surface is my bread and butter: a psychological thriller with diverse characters, an unreliable narrator, and a love triangle. Plus, look at that cover! It opens with a bang (literally) but I was left feeling...unsatisfied at the end? I have some somewhat incoherent thoughts:Jess Wong has had a long-standing crush on her best friend, Angie. And everything was peachy while it was just the two of them, but then Angie meets Margot, a student at the ritzy private I'm torn. A Line in the Dark on the surface is my bread and butter: a psychological thriller with diverse characters, an unreliable narrator, and a love triangle. Plus, look at that cover! It opens with a bang (literally) but I was left feeling...unsatisfied at the end? I have some somewhat incoherent thoughts:Jess Wong has had a long-standing crush on her best friend, Angie. And everything was peachy while it was just the two of them, but then Angie meets Margot, a student at the ritzy private school, and Jess' world begins to unravel. Jess finds it difficult to share Angie with Margot, as well as keep a cap on her feelings—which she has long denied. At a party one night, Jess has an altercation with Margot's best friend, Ryan, and after Ryan subsequently goes missing, Jess shoots to the top of the suspect list. Ok, so. This is definitely personal preference, but I like my thrillers to be a tad more sinister and um...twisted...than A Line in the Dark. In the end, it just felt kind of watered down compared to some of the other thrillers I've read this year and really enjoyed. (i.e. This Darkness Mine and Final Girls).  If you enjoy a good mystery but not a graphic one, A Line in the Dark might be a good choice for you. There's also a really cool art-imitating-life aspect with Jess' comic book that reminded me of Eliza and her Monsters.I am notoriously bad at guessing the twist endings, so my interest was definitely piqued the entire way through...but the ending was rushed. Within the context of the plot, the ending makes sense, I just needed another 5 pages or so of resolution.I'm stuck between 3 - 3.5 / 5. The ending just kind of brought it down for me.Thank you Dutton Books for Young Readers for my ARC. A Line in the Dark is available now.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    This was the perfect way to start off 2018. I really liked the characters. My grade ten self and Jess were basically identical, except I can't draw for shit. Angie was kind of a selfish bitch. Letting Jess pine over her very obviously while constantly talking about Margot was a dick move. I wasn't entirely expecting the ending, which was a good surprise. (view spoiler)[Emily was ignored when it came to the investigation, so I was expecting her to be involved in Ryan's death, so it was big surpri This was the perfect way to start off 2018. I really liked the characters. My grade ten self and Jess were basically identical, except I can't draw for shit. Angie was kind of a selfish bitch. Letting Jess pine over her very obviously while constantly talking about Margot was a dick move. I wasn't entirely expecting the ending, which was a good surprise. (view spoiler)[Emily was ignored when it came to the investigation, so I was expecting her to be involved in Ryan's death, so it was big surprise that she had nothing to do with it, which could have been a red herring. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    I have to start by saying I absolutely love the cover of A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo. I immediately wanted to read this based on the cover alone. Once I read the summary though I was even more intrigued. Once I dove into this book I didn’t really want to put it down. It was definitely a quick read and I found myself pulled into this story that revolves around friendship, relationships, and a bit of a mystery. I have to admit; the first half went well but I wasn’t a fan of the POV shift in p I have to start by saying I absolutely love the cover of A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo. I immediately wanted to read this based on the cover alone. Once I read the summary though I was even more intrigued. Once I dove into this book I didn’t really want to put it down. It was definitely a quick read and I found myself pulled into this story that revolves around friendship, relationships, and a bit of a mystery. I have to admit; the first half went well but I wasn’t a fan of the POV shift in part two. It felt off and I’m not sure what the intent was. Jess is the main character whose point of view we start in and she is one of those characters I couldn’t help sympathizing with. It is obvious she has feelings for her best friend Angie but Angie is either completely clueless or does a fantastic job of not noticing. There were things I liked about Jess but there were things that really bothered me. She was definitely loyal and cared about Angie but she let Angie get away with a lot because of her feelings for her. I can honestly say I don’t think I would have put up with half of what she did without calling Angie out. Clearly you can see I am not a huge fan of Angie. I think it’s because I don’t really believe that she had no idea about Jess’ feelings and when she starts to have her relationship with Margot she doesn’t even think about Jess. As best friends, Jess and Angie spend a lot of time together and when Margot enters their world, things change quickly and not necessarily for the best.Margot is Angie’s new girlfriend and she, along with her best friend Ryan, go to the local boarding school. There is a secret that Ryan and Angie have and as the story moves forward, this secret becomes a catalyst to what happens in part two of this book. When things between these characters take a turn, we begin to learn a lot more about all of them and what happened that night.You might be saying…Erin, why are you being so vague? Well, I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give anything away. There are some twists in this story and I have to say, I didn’t really see what happened in the epilogue coming so that was great. If you are looking for a book that has an interesting story and diverse characters, definitely check this one out. Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the book, the intrigue and how it was resolved, but I don’t understand why the synopsis focuses on darkness. But it is a weirdly tied up whodunnit, with queer characters that we don’t see enough. 3.5 stars because I lost sleep reading it!
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  • paigeee
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars. This was a quick read for me. I loved the development of Jess, I wish Angie and Margot were more developed. The cover is gorgeous and gives this creepy, dark vibe. However, I was disappointed, I was wanting more creepy, and dark. I received neither.
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  • Ronak Gajjar
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5.0(1/2 – For such significant cover) Much diverse from the vague interpretation I had after reading the blurb, lusting after the cover, and pondering over the title. I was kind of slightly perplexed what to categorize this was into as the aspects covered are flamboyant. The first part kind of submerged me into High-School girls constantly dealing with jealousy and melodrama.Jessica and Angie’s, Margot and Ryan’s friendships peculiarly fit this quote: Jessica’s art is the most alluring elem 3.5/5.0(1/2 – For such significant cover) Much diverse from the vague interpretation I had after reading the blurb, lusting after the cover, and pondering over the title. I was kind of slightly perplexed what to categorize this was into as the aspects covered are flamboyant. The first part kind of submerged me into High-School girls constantly dealing with jealousy and melodrama.Jessica and Angie’s, Margot and Ryan’s friendships peculiarly fit this quote: Jessica’s art is the most alluring elemental portrayed fixation. Her medium of expressing layered emotions through comic-art is the key-point to plotline. The consequential events that follow in second part swiftly turning it into murder-mystery investigation flipped my staggering attention back and forth. Though the transition is noticeable which trails all along the plotline, it keeps you gripped till the end.I felt the Epilogue was haphazard. Either it could have been more chaotic, less predictable, or a bit more sorted that it doesn’t feel you are dangling in the middle still. Want to get indulge in f / f world for few glimpses, this one is good to go.
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