Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo was just released this past Tuesday (October 17th) and I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour to support this psychological thriller! I am sharing with you all my spoiler-free review as well as a tour-wide giveaway! You will of course find all the book information below as well! You just have to check out this book because I can’t tell you much except that you have to read it for yourself!
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.
And then there’s me, an extra in their drama…
A Line in the Dark was intense! Holy crap, I was so not expecting this book to hit me the way it did. Now, I won’t be able to say much about the actual plot, because I am in no way spoiling this book for anyone! So instead you will get my opinions, all of them. First and foremost, the characters are so well presented and they all felt normal, yet something is off with them. I absolutely loved the lesbian representation in this book. It felt to so real to me, for once! As a queer reader, sometimes the representation feels forced and flat. This was not the case, it resonated with me, and then also creeped me out because I have nothing in common with any of these characters. Also, why are girls so damn mean?! Ugh. Yes, that felt 100% real to me too. I may not have been a teenager recently, but this contemporary story still hit me right in the feels.
We first get to know the narrator, Jess Wong, who is a chubby, Chinese-American girl in her senior year of high school. She’s a comic artist who is deeply in love with her best friend Angie. However, this seems to be a secret, even though I am pretty sure Angie is out to her friend group, but Jess definitely isn’t. Jess tells her side as the quiet sidekick to her beautiful best friend. Jess feels like she is less, even among her friend group, which she soon realizes are actually Angie’s friends, and she’s the tag along.
Everything is normal until Angie starts dating Margot, a girl from the Pearson Brooke Academy, a boarding school that is in the bordering town. Unrequited love can be exhausting and world shattering. Jess and Angie don’t speak for a while. Meanwhile, Jess gets to know some of the boarding school kids since she is attending the Pearson Brooke Academy arts exchange program. She is assigned a buddy from the school, Emily. Emily has her own story. She recently moved here and last year she was hurt and bullied by none other than Margot, the girl Angie is dating, and Margot’s best friend Ryan. Which is why Jess has absolutely no interest in getting to know Angie’s girlfriend, and continues to distance herself from Angie.
I think this book also really highlighted the classism between public school kids and private boarding school kids really well. From the first moment we are introduced to the characters, it is clear there is a major divide in these two bordering towns, between class and schools. Plus we have the woods that make up a very real physical divide as well, where it borders the two towns and the kids are often finding themselves within those creepy trees.
I trusted no one in this story. A little over half way through the book there is a POV shift. It goes from Jess’s first person POV to omniscient third person. This is when we are learning about the events of mystery, mostly told through police investigation transcripts. No reliable narrator and yet we get glimpses of the truth of what happened the night in question. I was completely shocked at the truth of the mystery. I never saw that coming! I was completely snowed.
The characters are truly the highlight of A Line in the Dark. It has that weirdly relatable yet strange feelings to it. Plus Jess’s comics carry more truth than fiction. The story is a slow burn, but the ending was nothing I was expecting.
Malinda Lo is the author of the young adult novels Ash, Huntress, Adaptation, and Inheritance. Ash was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s nonfiction has been published by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Huffington Post, The Toast, The Horn Book, and AfterEllen. Malinda is co-founder with Cindy Pon of Diversity in YA, a project that celebrates diversity in young adult books. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog.
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo. (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 16, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 27, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
October 16 – YA Wednesdays – Character Aesthetics
October 17 – Twinning for Books – Review
October 18 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Author Q&A
October 19 – BookCrushin – Review *You Are Here*
October 20 – Read. Sleep. Repeat. – Author Guest Post | More than Friends
October 23 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Bookish Recipe
October 24 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist
October 25 – Sarcasm & Lemons – Author Q&A
October 26 – Fiction Fare – Review
October 27 – Boricuan Bookworms – Review & Aesthetics Board