Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Line

Author: Teri Hall
Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
Released: 2010
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Yes (Away #2)
Source: Library
Challenge: Dystopia 2012

Rachel lives with her mother on The Property. The good thing about living there is that it's far from the city, where the oppressive government is most active. The bad thing, at least to most people, is that it's close to the Line - an uncrossable section of the National Border Defense System, an invisible barrier that encloses the entire country. 

She can see the Line from the greenhouse windows, but she is forbidden to go near it. Across the Line is Away, and though Rachel has heard many whispers about the dangers there, she's never really believed the stories. Until the day she hears a recording that could only have come from across the Line.

It's a voice asking for help.

Who sent the message? What is her mother hiding? And to what lengths will Rachel go in order to do what she thinks is right?

Published before the huge success of dystopian trilogies like Matched and Delirium, The Line deals not with governmental regulation of love but with governmental oppression and the fine line between security and freedom. I really liked that though Rachel is the one to take the action forward at every step, she's not always alone and she does have adult help at times.

The writing of this book is superb. There's a tense undertone to everything, even to some extent before Rachel gets involved in anything suspicious or illegal. And the explanation of what happened to get the country to this state is brilliantly woven into the story so we get it smoothly and without interruption of the action.

I love the characters of the story. Rachel, her mom, Ms. Moore, and even Jonathan and Peter, sound really believable - flawed in ways that propel the story and in ways that make sense given the situation of their society.

The Line  is a really good exploration of issues very relevant to today's young adults, beautifully executed and a good read.

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