“[A] riveting read…"—NPR
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. If 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 a curse than a 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.
★ "Mesmerizing."—Kirkus, starred review.
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.73(d)|
|Age Range:||14 Years|
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Read an Excerpt
This is what I remember: the leather box lying open on the marble kitchen island; inside it a bed of black satin cradling a golden gun. It’s small enough to look like a toy.
Across the kitchen, Angie opens the back door, letting in a freezing blast of winter air. She looks upset, and I’m pulled to her almost involuntarily. All I want to do is make sure she’s okay, and 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.
Margot comes inside behind Angie, grabbing her hand. “Please,” she says. Angie doesn’t pull away. She doesn’t even see me.
The room spins. My tongue is thick from the syrup of too many drinks. I have beached up against the edge of the island, the marble cutting into my stomach, and the box is right in front of me. The gun is engraved with leaves and flowers, and it looks like a charm you might wear on a bracelet next to a miniature dagger and a coil of rope.
I reach for it. The metal is cool, the gun heavier than I expected. It’s pretty. The vines seem to come alive, twining around the grip and the barrel, ending in the small dark muzzle: a silent, open mouth.
Someone says my name.
Ryan, Margot’s best friend, lunges toward me from the other side of the island. She’s an avenging demon of the ice princess variety, blond and pale with her silver dress glittering over pushed-up breasts while she points her finger at me.
Angie is beside me, her face a mask of shock. “What the hell are you doing?” she demands. “Let’s go.”
It takes me a second to realize she wants to leave. With me.
She takes my hand, pulls the gun away. Her fingers are so cold it’s as if they’d been dipped in a bucket of ice, but they still send an electric jolt all the way through my vodka-induced emotional padding.
Angie puts the gun back in the box. Ryan picks it up, curling her finger around the trigger.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was quick and very well-written and totally compelling. The ending did feel rushed to me and I wanted the consequences of it to be explored more than they really were, but on the whole I liked this one a lot.
3.5 stars I'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**
I really enjoyed this! Quietly creepy with an engrossing love triangle. The end is a bit rushed but the warped longing in all the characters really sold this story for me. The blurb is accurate, I immediately had to skim it again when I finished!