When I'm asleep, I'm afraid someone else might take my place.
It can happen in a flash. One minute she's kissing her boyfriend, the next she's lost in the woods. Sixteen-year-old Ellie Cox is losing time. It started out small…forgetting a drive home or a conversation with a friend. But her blackouts are getting worse, more difficult to disguise as forgetfulness. When Ellie goes missing for three days, waking up in the apartment of a mysterious guy—a guy who is definitely not her boyfriend—her life starts to spiral out of control.
Perched on the edge of insanity, with horrific memories of her childhood leaking in, Ellie struggles to put together the pieces of what she's lost—starting with the name haunting her, Gwen. Heartbreakingly beautiful and intimately drawn, this poignant story follows one girl's harrowing journey to finding out who she really is.
About the Author
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she's just your average awkward girl who's obsessed with words. You can follow her on Twitter as @brooklyn__skye or visit her website for updates, teasers, giveaways, and more. www.brooklyn-skye.com
Read an Excerpt
By Brooklyn Skye, Alycia Tornetta, Stacy Cantor Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Brooklyn Skye
All rights reserved.
"You don't remember?"
In the last twenty-four hours, I've heard these words three times now. The first — yesterday — when I forgot to wait for Dani after school. Supposedly, she'd asked me for a ride home during English, but my memory of first period is sort of a blur. Or not really there at all. I must've been daydreaming. The second — this morning — when Mom forgot to put pancakes on my plate and when I pointed it out she said, "I didn't forget. You told me you didn't like them anymore."
I stand on the dirt-covered floor of Beacon's, the abandoned cement factory, watching Shane wrap a leather necklace around my wrist. He picked it up at the boutique next to his little sister's Tae Kwon Do studio. His fingers are warm, brushing lightly against my skin as he secures the knot. The silver charm in the shape of a running shoe sparkles in the dull light.
"Fits perfectly," I say, gesturing to my wrist to avoid his question.
"Over your scar," he finishes, smoothing his finger over the inch-long layer of wound leather. It's not what I meant, but he's right, the necklace does perfectly cover the vertical white line on my wrist. If only he had leather for all the others.
"You don't like my scar?" I hide my discomfort in a pouting face. He leans down, lips barely grazing mine.
"I like everything about you, Ells. Including your scar. But I know you're self-conscious about it."
I grin. "Suddenly you're a mind reader?"
"I'd like to call it a movement analyst." He takes my left hand and cups it over the bracelet on my right. "You cover your scar when you're nervous," he says, straight-faced. Then he lets out an impish chuckle, pulling my hand away. "Now you can make better use of your hands."
I make a face and pull out of his hold. "You're, like, the weirdest boyfriend I've ever had."
"Yeah?" He snakes his arms around me. I lean back, meet his gaze.
"You can't possibly take that as a compliment!" I laugh and the sound booms off the cinderblock walls.
"Of course I can." He squares his shoulders. "I'm sure in some part of the world 'weird' means cool. And don't all girls want to be with the cool guys?"
I gesture to the dilapidated room we're standing in. Broken windows, crumbling foundation, the stench of death from the rat cemetery in the corner.
"You have a lot to learn, Prince Charming, if you think a date at the cement factory will get you anywhere with this girl." I try to squirm out from his grip, but his arms won't relent.
He hesitates. "So you really don't remember talking about it?"
The "it" being each other's firsts, which apparently we discussed the other day on the way home from practice. I shake my head and look away. "I must've been really tired."
Truth is, I don't remember the entire drive. This is usually how it happens, how I realize a memory is missing. Someone will make a comment about something — the hideous scarf Lexi was wearing at a party, the look on Shane's face when he realized I'd left the bonfire without him — and then I'll attempt to replay the scene, unable to.
A crease appears on his forehead.
"You say that a lot."
Yes. I do. I search for another excuse.
"Practice has been kicking my butt lately."
He brushes the bangs from my eyes, considering for a moment my words. He'll believe them. He always does. But first he'll have to disregard whatever doubts are plaguing his mind. Little does he know, his instinct is right. Always right. And I am a horrible person for letting him think otherwise.
He takes my hand, meeting my eyes with a grin.
"Maybe we should skip practice tomorrow then. My mom will be working and Drea won't be home till four. We'll have the house to ourselves."
* * *
Shane catches my eye from across the hall and my lips crack a smile. He's walking with Jason to his last period. We've hardly spoken a word to each other all day — no more than a hi or a see you at lunch, but between every class he's given me this look. Like he's reminding me of our little secret.
As if I could forget.
"Something's up with you two," Dani says, pulling the chewed-up pen out of her mouth and pointing it at my chest. "He's been making that face at you all day."
"What face?" I say, ducking my head so she can't see my cheeks flush red. Nevertheless, her hawk eyes catch it. She grabs my shoulders.
"Oh my God. Already?"
I shake my head, grinning. Her grip tightens.
"You're killing me here, Ell. When?" I scan the crowded hall to make sure Shane's not watching and, when I see he's already around the corner, I laugh out loud.
"Today." I glance down at my watch. "In, like, one hour."
"Holy bananas. Seriously?" She sticks the pen back in her mouth and starts gnawing vigorously on the end. "Are you ... prepared?"
I roll my eyes and take her by the elbow.
"Yes, Mom, I'm prepared," I say as I pull her through the swarm of bodies toward the language wing.
She bumps me with her hip. "Someone has to ask."
After school, Shane and I head up the stairs to his room, his hand squeezing mine. Meant as a gesture of support, his touch sends nerves prickling up the back of my neck.
Across the hall, a chalkboard hangs from his sister's door. Sara + Drea = BFF is scrawled in blue chalk along the top. Sara wrote it. I can tell by the elaborate curl on the S. My little sister's signature, which she's practiced a zillion times for the day fame finds her as the singer of an all-girl band.
Shane's door shuts with a click and I sit on his tiny twin bed, fidgeting with the frayed blanket. I run my fingers back and forth across its blue threads, dragging them under my fingernails.
In front of me on the nightstand is a picture of Shane and me at our first race together. His arm is slung loosely over my shoulder, both our faces reddened from the cold but smiling at the first-place ribbon Shane earned. It's not visible in the picture, but I was holding my pink Participant ribbon behind my back. The picture is tilted against a black-framed photo of Shane and Lexi from when they were kids. They look about ten and are building a sandcastle at the beach. I've never told Shane, but I can't stand this picture of him and his best friend.
The mattress sinks beside me. His hand falls onto my thigh.
I look him in the eyes. I still remember the first time I saw Shane, this year at our first pep rally. He was with Coach Mills promoting the cross country team, announcing the dates for tryouts. His hair was shorter back then, not hanging past his eyebrows like it is now. That day, as he stood below me on the basketball court, he spoke confidently into the microphone, made eye contact with even the seniors. He was utterly unforgettable.
Needless to say, I tried out for the team the next day.
"If you wanna wait ..." he adds, skimming his fingers up my stomach. I love the gooeyness his touch brings, turning my insides to Jell-O. But then his hand keeps going, and his fingers gently brush the underside of my bra. My nerve endings zap to attention.
Would waiting make this sinking feeling in my stomach go away?
I take a huge breath. No, this is Shane. He loves me, and I love him, and I'm ready for this. I am. "No waiting," I say as smooth as I can and then tug on his T-shirt until he comes closer. Warm breath skates across my cheek, my neck as he lays me down, slipping his hand around my back. Fiery tingles follow as he runs a line of gentle kisses along my jaw, up to my ear, and back down. Is this what sex is going to feel like? My body on fire and freezing cold at the same time? His tongue glides into my mouth, and the fire wins out as I knot my hands into his hair. He kisses me deeply and then, breathing hard, pulls away.
"Thank you," he says.
I laugh. "For this?"
Shaking his head, he lowers his lips to my ear. "For giving me a reason to smile."
I grin at his cheesy words — he's always been so good at sounding like a greeting card — and slide off his shirt, noticing a dull pain in the back of my head. A tiny thread yanking on my consciousness. He leans in, sweeping his lips over my shoulder, my collarbone ...lower, and, suddenly, I feel like I'm slipping.
Like I'm trying to stand on ice and can't find my footing.
Reaching for me. Grabbing me. Pulling me.
Shane's fingers slink down my belly and pop the button on my jeans free ...
Then everything goes black.CHAPTER 2
Water. Rushing to my left. At least I have an idea of where I am.
I open my eyes to a blur of green and gray. Sharp pain clings to the back of my neck and I attempt to blink it away — once, twice, three times. It won't work. The sting will stay for hours, but I have to try. Seconds go by before I start to see the defined edges of what's around. Trees. Looming over me.
The feeling inside my chest is so split it's impossible to put into words. I'm near Shane's house. I know this. And am enormously comforted by the familiar roar of the river. But the trees are gigantic, which makes me feel small and weak. Incapable of getting to my feet and finding my way home. Or back to Shane's.
His bed, his arms, the taste of red licorice on his tongue — that's the last I remember. But is that all? Or did we do more? I glance down. Below the hem of my shirt, my jeans are unbuttoned. Mud covers my shoes and knees. It looks like I was running and tripped.
I want to scream.
My last blackout was only two days ago — Saturday — when one minute I was standing before a bonfire down at the river and the next I was waking up to Shane calling, asking why I left the party without him.
This is too soon. I don't want to do this again.
"Ellie!" Shane calls from the edge of the trees. Footsteps squish into the damp forest floor.
I don't answer. I don't know how. I have no idea why I'm this far from his house, or why I'm covered in mud.
"If you didn't want to do it, you could've just said so." Shane's sharp words bite through the trees. He must see me by now. "Instead of making me feel like a complete jerk."
I pull my knees close, wrap my hand around my wrist. The scent of the river drifts on the wind. "I didn't —"
"Do you treat all your boyfriends like this?"
I've never had a boyfriend like him. So, no.
He emerges from behind a tree, then stops a few feet away, hands outstretched to the sides. His face is set into a hard mask, one so unfamiliar to his face.
"What is it with you and leaving me?"
This is the first time I've heard Shane yell. I wince and look up at him. I hate that I've caused this. And that I have no idea what he's talking about. Hot tears claw at the back of my throat as I will the truth to come out.
"I don't ... I don't remember what happened."
He snorts. "Just like you don't remember our conversation the other day?" He spins on his heels and starts back through the trees. "Go home, Ellie. Call me when you want to tell the truth."
"Wait!" I scramble to my feet and run after him, grabbing his arm. "I am telling you the truth. The last thing I remember is kissing you." And the hands. But I don't want to tell him about the hands.
He swipes my grip from his arm. "So you don't remember telling me to keep my hands off you? Or slamming the door in my face? Or running away?" He pushes past, his shoulder bumping mine. "Not sure how you could forget that. It's a little extreme."
I would never do those things to him. My hand catches his shirt.
"Please, Shane." Six months and I've perfected the tone it takes to really get his attention. Which I need right now because I'm at a complete loss for any other words. How do I explain that the memory has vanished into thin air? That I was there on his bed, and then here in the forest, with nothing — not even a breath or a heartbeat — in between?
He's still recovering from the sprint, breathing deep, neck stretched and corded. His black hair is sticking up in the front, glistening from the moisture in the air. I hug myself, waiting for him to say something. He clenches and unclenches his jaw, scanning the forest in a way to avoid looking at me. Then he sighs, rubbing his face.
"Did you really want to?"
"Yes," I say with no hesitation. Even so, I'm not certain he'll believe me this time. It's not like I can pass this off as being tired or unable to find him in the dark down at the river. A moment passes and then his face softens.
"Were you scared?"
I think back to his room, to how the feel of his hands warmed me. I start to shake my head, but stop. Because there was something else, too. The buzzing in my veins. The feeling of being pulled under.
Nerves. They were just nerves.
"Not at all," I finally say, and he shoves his hands deep into his pockets.
"Okay, so tell me what happened."
I detach my gaze, looking down at my muddy shoes. "I don't know." He starts to turn away and I quickly add, "Shane, I'm not just saying that to blow you off. I really don't know. Maybe it's stress," I lie. I don't know why. I guess because I have no other explanation. "From school. Or anxiety about the meet ..." I exhale, my hands flipping into the air. "I don't know."
It isn't either of those. I'm not the type to fret over school, or sports. He knows this. I shift on my feet, wanting to step closer. To sink into him. My eyes brim over with tears and a long minute passes with me just standing there blurry-eyed, and I start to think that maybe this is it, that he'll break up with me because he's tired of me forgetting things, but then my tears whittle away his anger and he pulls me into his arms with a much heavier sigh, holding so much more frustration than mine.
"Maybe you're right." His breath sends a few strands of my hair drifting upward, and as if trying to convince himself, he says, "After this weekend, after the meet, everything'll go back to normal."
That night I dream that I come to in the halls at school. Naked, with mud up to my knees. I try to make it to the bathroom for cover, but a cluster of football players blocks the door. They corner me, pinching my breasts and slapping my backside and Shane is nowhere to be found. I scream out for help, but nobody comes.CHAPTER 3
Dreams don't always disappear when you wake up. I wander the halls at school with my hands over my chest and a sickness in my stomach until Shane finds me, guides me to class.
Lie number two: "I'm sick."CHAPTER 4
Turns out, I pull off "sick" better than I do well. I've got everyone around me taking each shard of bait I present to them — it's hard to swallow, my head's throbbing, I feel like I'm going to puke ...
Even Dad, who's a doctor — or surgeon, whatever — is convinced I should spend a day home from school. Perfect.
In the morning, Mom comes in with a tray of tea for my throat, ginger slices for my queasy stomach, and aspirin for my head. She presses her hand to my forehead, deciding I don't have a fever but should still rest, and then she's off to work, with Dad and Sara just behind her. Dad will drop my little sister off at Jefferson Middle School, honking once from his Lexus SUV, and head to the hospital for the day.
I stay in bed until I hear both cars rumble down the street and the house is silent.
The silence is heaven.
No one to question what I'm doing as I settle in front of my computer, open up a browser, and search "medical reasons for blackouts" in Google. I don't know why I didn't do this before, after I woke up to Shane on the phone asking why I left him at the party down at the river, when the last thing I could remember was being there.
But it has to be something simple. Something easily pinpoint-able and fixable. Like a low sugar level or not enough potassium or something.
On the screen, surprisingly, more than ten pages come up with a match. I start with the first, a medical website listing thirty-eight causes for blackouts. Heart conditions like aortic dissection, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmia are listed. I can't be certain, but I doubt there's anything wrong with my heart. I'm too young for that.
I keep scanning the list and there are the obvious reasons a person might black out — wide of the mark of my lifestyle: drugs, alcohol, medication. And the other causes are just as unlikely: diabetes, psychotic episode, seizure, stroke, epilepsy ...
Excerpted from Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye, Alycia Tornetta, Stacy Cantor Abrams. Copyright © 2014 Brooklyn Skye. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One: Ellie,
Part Two: Ellie,
Part Three: Gwen,
About the Author,
Discover more Entangled Teen's digital-first books ...,
My Not So Super Sweet Life,
Where You'll Find Me,
The Girl and the Clockwork Cat,
The Winter People,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don't start this before bed...you'll stay up all night! It was unlike any YA book I've read. And even though I kind of thought I knew what was happening with Ellie, the author's beautiful prose and unique story telling drew me in from page one and I couldn't stop reading. And that ending...I will be thinking about this book for a long time.
I thought this was amazing, loved it, very suspensful and gripping read. ellie keeps loosing time and having blackouts you just have to read it but it is very good.
I was up until 2 a.m with this book! I LOVED it! It's my favorite book by Brooklyn Skye thus far. I really hope that there is going to be a sequal. I don't think I can handle not knowing more of the story because there has to be more. Brooklyn tells this heartbreaking story in such a way you won't want to put this book down until you finish it. I'm a Gwen fan all the way! Good job
What a whirlwind of emotions!! Brooklyn has captivated me...which isn't always an easy task. I love this book. I love this book because every time you think you know what is going to happen...she changes the game a little. Ellie is like so many other young adults, and what she suffers from is something that affects so many young adults. I like how Brooklyn has incorporated a serious topic into an easy-to-read...for hours, book. I would highly recommend this book. AND I am hoping that there is more to this story later on...4.5 stars
Definitely worth a read. This YA/teen romance has your typical good guy and your bad boy. And like Ellie and even Gwen, it will be a tough road in trying to decide which path to follow. Some serious topics so Def for more mature audiences. I'd highly recommend this book as well as this author
Two girls are the heart of Fragile Line, girls who seem to have absolutely nothing in common. Ellie is a “good” girl, one who does little to disappoint her parents and teachers. Ellie’s friends enjoy her company and know just how she fits into their lives and her boyfriend, Shane, is as devoted to her as she is to him. Gwen, on the other hand, is a child lost to a darker world, one who is dependent on very shady characters for sustenance of a troubling sort. Gwen’s surroundings would bring discomfort to most of us and the people she hangs out with are not the sort we’d want around our teens. A possible exception is a young man named Griffin but even he is questionable…or is it just that he’s the stereotypical bad boy? These four characters are really the only ones who truly came to life for me but they’re enough. I liked them all to varying degrees but it was Gwen who really pulled at me. My attention was riveted on her because, in her own very damaged way, she’s the one who has the most to lose in this puzzling and frightening world that is consuming both Gwen and Ellie. What’s really going on with Ellie is the mystery at the core of this story but it was apparent to me very early on, probably because I’ve had a years-long interest in the subject. My enjoyment of the story was not diminished in any way because I was really more drawn in by Ellie’s and Gwen’s experiences living with such an emotionally painful condition. The premise behind Fragile Line is a familiar one but one of the hallmarks of a good writer lies in what that writer does with an oft-used theme and Ms. Skye shows herself to be more than competent. Her prose flows easily and it’s clear that care has been taken with editing while the plot itself is crafted nicely with only an occasional hiccup, usually having to do with my inability to believe in certain behavior. That could be due to my own knowledge of the subject rather than to any failing of the author. Ms. Skye tells a very good tale and I’ll be looking for more of her work.
Fragile Line is a captivating and harsh book to read, it is filled with all the classic angst of a teenage girl making her way through life, dealing with the complexes of boyfriends, friends and ex friends plus the anxiety of blackouts and mental illness. Elle is light as Gwen is dark but they each have their required placement in the story buildup. I did skip abit of Gwen's section towards the end as I felt it had been developed as much as needed to move onto the end of Elle's healing. Overall the book depicted each layer of what a person going through phases of mental illness must have to endure at least as much as a sane person can understand they are going through. Impressive read. A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars
One of the things I loved most about this book was that it was nothing like I expected. Ellie is losing time and we are along for the ride as she tries to figure out what is happening. Brooklyn Skye did an amazing job of getting inside a mental illness...I'm serious. This book is GOOD! I loved all of the characters and the struggles every one of them has to go through as Ellie keeps "forgetting" conversations or events in her life. What would you do if you ran into the person you loved in the streets and they had no idea who you are? If a family remember insisted they were having "blackouts" would your first assumption be that they are lying to cover up something? Ellie is lost, alone, and scared of events beyond her control. Waking up in the apartment of a strange guy and finding out when she got home that she had been gone three days is the least of her problems. Fragile Lines is a non-stop read. I seriously did not put this book down until I was done. I easily give this book 5 stars! I can't wait to see what Brooklyn does next!!!
With Ellie and Gwen, there was always something going on. It didn't lose my attention for a second. Fragile Line is a perfect name to describe this story. It was a fast paced read that offers a little something different than many Young Adult books out there right now. Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.
When I picked up this book I didn't know what to expect other than a good mystery. In fact I was expecting it to have some sort of fantasy or paranormal element to it. I was intrigued to find that it was purely Contemporary fiction. The first two sections of this book earned five stars from me. They were compelling, and I couldn't get the story out of my head. I didn't like Gwen's section at the end at all. She was too dark. I understand that it was necessary and I feel that the author did a good job making Gwen rough and callused, but I wished she hadn't made it quite so detailed. I felt like her section went on and on. There was way too much swearing, drugs, and sex for my taste. I didn't really see the purpose to it. I would have liked to see more of Ellie and her road to healing, and I only saw a small glimpse of that at the end. Gwen's entire section seemed like a waste of time and it left a bad taste in my mouth, so bad that I almost put the book down several times. It was like the book ended with the end of Ellie's section, right when it was coming to the most interesting part. I eagerly turn to the next chapter and it's back to Gwen who I hate and her section is like a downward spiral, ruining this girl's body. What the heck was the point of that? How was that propelling the story forward? When it finally got back to Ellie there was barely any mention of her healing process and the story was left hanging a bit with lose ends dangling everywhere and it left me wondering if there's a sequel coming.
I wanted to read Fragile Line because I was intrigued by Ellie and if her blackouts were something mental or if there was something else going on. I usually enjoy books about mental illnesses as well as memory loss. I felt for Ellie, and even though I knew that she was somewhat of an unreliable narrator, she seemed so normal during the day. We find out that she is adopted and has no memories of her childhood but things start coming back to her after her blackouts, where she loses chunks of time and walks off in the woods, argues with her parents and ends up with a tattoo. Her life is starting to fall apart though, because she's gotten up to leave or disappeared on him time after time, and its hard to believe that a person does these things and then can't remember, it seems like an awfully convenient excuse. I wondered if she had split personality or some form of bipolar, because she does things while blacked out that she wouldn't do while awake. Talking to guys she doesn't recognize, go to eat, and her wild side goes to get the tattoo. It was a surprise when I found out the cause, but I think that it makes total sense. While I can understand to an extent why Ellie kept the blackouts and time missing a secret for so long, but I was getting a little pushy for a bit before she finally opened up about it and truly began to want answers and seek and accept help. I can't even imagine what I would think about myself if I had time missing and things happen to me that I couldn't remember and especially as a teen I very well could have kept it to myself for as long as she did because I would almost fear the answers more than the solution. It was neat how the author changed things up at about 75% and we got a different view point as well as some more answers about her past that Ellie can't remember. We get the other side of the story and the emotions that are attached there and even though I knew what was best, it was still hard to see the pain and uncertainty of the future. It was a pretty quick read and well paced. The world building was completely contemporary but at first I kept thinking that there might be a supernatural element even though thats not in the description or tagged on goodreads. The ending was okay for me, but I think that it could have been a bit better, or things could have been a little more resolved with Ellie and accepting her diagnosis and what exactly that looks like day to day. We get the glimpse of hope that its starting, but really not a clue what daily life will be like and how she will handle. Bottom Line: Fast read with an unreliable narrator that had me wondering what was going on.
Ellie Cox has been losing time for years. Not losing time - in a wasting time doing something meaningless - way. No,that would have been expected by a teenager. But Ellie isn't your average high school student. The characters Ellie doesn't really remember anything from her childhood. At the age of six, a fatal fire killed her parents but she survived. After that, she was given up for adoption, a closed one, which happens in two cases. The first one is when the parents give up their child but they're alive and they don't want the child to find out anything about them or even look for them in the future. And the second one is when the director of the Adoption Agency due to specific circumstances regarding the child and its family environment and background decides to make it a closed adoption. At first she thinks it's because of the fire but then she finds out it's because of her scars. Apart from finding out more about her past and how to deal with the blackouts she's been experiencing, she has Shane, her boyfriend who believes the blackouts are some lame excuses she uses so that she can avoid him.. Gwen is Ellie's other half,alter ego...you name it. Because of her traumatic and abusive childhood, Ellie created another version of her, a tougher one who could deal with her abusive father and the psychological consequences of his actions. The thing is Gwen has become an essential part of Ellie and as Ellie grew up, Gwen took more control of her body and mind. There were days where Ellie was missing for three and eight days and nobody including Ellie knew where she was. You see, Gwen had a completely different life. She also had a boyfriend named Griffin, smoked sometimes, loved tattoos and actually got one herself but she also hung out with the wrong people, people who would kill her if she didn't pay them back. Shane, Ellie's boyfriend, is one of the best things that happened to her. He's everything her father never was. Caring, sweet, protective, honest and he would do anything for her. But he doesn't believe Ellie when she mentions the blackouts, something that makes him spend more time with his best friend Lexi, who used to be best friends with Ellie. She's afraid of Lexi taking Shane away from her but in the end Lexi turns out to be as broken in the inside as Ellie is. On the other hand we have Griffin,Gwen's boyfriend,who I can describe with the same words I used for Shane. He went through a rough time just as Gwen did. Their relationship was the only honest thing in their lives and it was enough for both of them. The time has come for Ellie to face her past because that's the only way she can let Gwen go. Gwen isn't going down without a fight and it might be a deadly one for both. Verdict Brooklyn Skye did it again! A well-written story about mental illness, not having control of your body, learning who you are and facing your demons. It's not your usual Young Adult book, but that makes it even better!
When I began reading Fragile Line, I had forgotten what the synopsis said and think my enjoyment of the story was enhanced from not remembering. All I knew was that after how much I adored Stripped, I'll read anything, and I mean anything, by Brooklyn Skye. I'd read her grocery list if she let me. In Fragile Line we meet Ellie Cox who's beginning to lose more and more time with no memory of where it goes. I couldn't imagine how frustrating that would be. At first it's little things - she forgets to wait for her friend after school, for example - but it ends up becoming larger chunks of time, sometimes hours, even days. Instead of explaining to her family and friends what's happening to her, she makes up excuses about being tired and stressed from school. This story astounded me with how well written it is and how real Ellie's struggle felt. It felt so real to me. My heart broke for Ellie and everyone who cares about her. Brooklyn Skye is an incredibly talented writer and pulls you into Ellie's nightmare to where you can't stop reading. For anything. I read this book in one sitting and got zero sleep, but it was so worth it. There was no place I could stop because everything in me resisted the very idea. Seriously, if you haven't read Fragile Line, I advise you to grab a copy and start reading without taking a look at the synopsis. Just jump in with an open mind and don't look back until you've finished. This is an unforgettable novel of discovering who you are and reconciling your past with your present. My love for Fragile Line knows no bounds. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a compelling story that the main character Ellie deals with blackout where she does not remember chunks for time that last from minutes to days. These blackouts cause many problems in her life. Throughout the book she learns somethings about her childhood realizing why she has a mental illness. This is a difficult subject but the book was well written. Towards the end when Ellie was officially diagnosed I felt the book was not quite as detailed as before and skimmed over time. SLIGHT SPOILER: The last part of the book was from Ellie alter ego point of view. At first this was weird to me but as I read I understood the difference and similarity between Ellie and Gwen.
The synopsis for this book was so compelling, I knew when I first read it that I had to read this book as soon as possible. (Thank you, Entangled Teen, for the early look.) It sounded unique and intriguing... a hint of romance, a hint of mystery. Now that I've finished it, I can honestly say I was right on all counts – and then some. Fragile Line took me completely by surprise and I think it will be quite awhile before I stop thinking about this book and these characters. Fragile Line is Ellie's story. On the outside, she's a normal teenager. What no one knows is that she's suffering from blackouts that last for days at times and she has no ideas what happens to her during these times. More than that, she's getting flashes of her childhood that lead her to believe terrible things happened to her. A guy she doesn't know keeps calling her cell phone and asking for Gwen and, after one of her episodes, she comes back to find her boyfriend Shane has broken up with her and wants nothing to do with her. Something's definitely happening but she has no idea what it is. She's scared and confused, but afraid her friends and family will think she's going insane, so she's scared to ask for help. While it took me a few chapters to get into this story, once I did I was hopelessly hooked. I'm glad I didn't have anywhere to be because I couldn't wait to finish this book and find out what was happening to Ellie. There were twists and turns, suspenseful moments and sweet ones. I felt so bad for Ellie. She was a strong character, but what she was going through had to be terrifying. I was completely emotionally-invested in her story. Fragile Line tackled a mental health issue that I wasn't all that familiar with up until I read it and did it in a way that was easily understood and really made the reader think about all the pieces involved. This book is broken up into three parts and an epilogue. Part three was mind-blowingly good. It added a layer of complexity to the story that left me confused about what I wanted to happen in the end. It was powerful and thought-provoking. This story doesn't end with a cliffhanger, but I really hope Brooklyn will consider writing a second book with these characters. Fragile Line was so good and I would love to see where ALL of these characters are now. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Wow, what can I say about this book, but WOW! The synopsis gave very vague information which was terrific because it really allowed your mind to wander while you were reading this fantastic story. Unlike Mara Dyer which was a poorly done psychological thriller, Fragile Line was wonderfully executed and more along the lines of Shutter Island. Feeling what Ellie was feeling, feeling crazy and out of control only heightened my senses throughout the story. Trying to solve the mystery of what is happening to her and how to not loose herself forever was both mentally and emotionall exhausting, in a good way, like after a really fantastic morning run. The love story was done remarkably well for being a YA book. It felt real,it felt teenage, but it felt like teenage first love on the brink of being so much more. Each character had their own demons to deal with and those all unraveled and concluded beautifully. I have to say I really feel satisfied after finishing Fragile Line. Once Ellie finds out what is happening to her all hell breaks lose, literally! Of course like most things, when it rains it pours, and boy o' boy did it pour on Ellie, trying not to loose everything she has, including herself, while trying to guard secrets she didn't know she had. I would recommend this to anyone who loved Mara Dyer or to anyone who was like me and loved the Mara Dyer concept, but wished the book was better written. If you loved Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio, prepare yourself because Fragile Line will keep you on the edge of your seat just like it did! I didn't want Ellie's story to end and I feel sad that I have to leave her, but glad that she stayed long enough to let me get to know her.
The book was good until Gwens part. It went really weird and off track. Totally lost interest. The writing is fantastic though. I love that it was about D.I.D
I received this book directly from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Brooklyn Skype has made an everlasting, huge impression on me. She's good... she has taken a delicate, awkward teme such as a teenager mental illness and develop with it a beautiful plot with such grace... it's astounding. I hope the general public will not shy away from such beauty only because the romance in it isn't... well, normal. I really wish to read a sequel, because the end was so open and... unfinished. And I like so much Griffin... Vote: 4.5 stars
When I read the blurb of this book, I knew it would be something for me. I'm a sucker for books with a mysterious hint and this was one of them. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, otherwise the mystery would be gone ;) The book is written in a style that is very easy to read. The mystery was kept for quite a while, so you don't really know what is wrong with Ellie until the last part of the book. Because of this, I constantly felt the urge to read the book and finished it in two nights. I didn't really love Ellie's boyfriend and their relationship, but I could appreciate Ellie herself. The reason I'm not giving 5 stars, is because it felt to me like something was missing, though I don't know exactly what it is. Part of the reason could be that it kind of annoyed me that she kept the black-outs hidden from everyone for quite a while. That didn't seem too realistic to me. I know some people hate it when you're kept in the dark about the main part of the book for so long, so I wouldn't recommend this book to those people. If you do like mystery then I would definitely advise you to read this book. It's written beautifully and I'm sure more people will appreciate it
Compelling and Well-Written I must say that there are a LOT of heavy reads that I simply can’t stand, but Fragile Line was not one of them. I was totally wary of reading this book that I’m not even sure why I requested for it, but I’m so glad that I did. This was so much better than I expected it to be. I was pretty much hooked from chapter one, and I had to keep reading. Everything about it was so compelling that I finished this book in a few hours. I’m just a little sad that I can’t bookmark or highlight the PDF, but I’ll make sure to get my own copy of this soon. This review might be very vague because I think that people should read this for themselves. It’s that good. Ellie Cox lives the life that I’m afraid to live – losing a part of one’s self without even knowing it. I’ve seen people with mental disorders, and I fear of ever having one. I’m afraid of losing control of myself and my mind, and that is exactly what happened to Ellie. She suddenly finds herself in certain situations without even remembering what happened. When things started to get worse for Ellie, I just wanted her to tell someone already to the point of frustration, but I also understand her fear of doing so. I was happy when she finally started telling people because I think it’s important that people ask for help when they can’t handle something. I really loved Ellie, and I just wanted to hug her or hold her and make her feel okay. Also, I really love Ellie’s boyfriend, Shane – sweet, caring, and loving Shane. He’s definitely not perfect and he has his own share of mistakes, but there is something about him. #nospoilers :P Let’s just say I wish there were more guys like him. ************************************************** OVERALL, Fragile Line is a very compelling and well-written book that vividly tells the story of a girl inflicted with a mental disorder. It is heartbreaking, but hopeful. This book caught me by surprise, and I instantly fell in love. It deals with a lot of heavy stuff that made me feel for all the characters involved, and I personally like how Brooklyn Skye handled the different issues, the revelation of secrets and dark pasts, and the personalities of all the characters. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good contemporary read, and I will surely be one of the people to buy a copy.
A real page turner, a thought provoking book. I could not put this book down. The story of Ellie, who was adopted after a tragic accident when she was little starts having blackouts, where she does not remember things for days. Those missing days she goes by the name of Gwen. This is a psychological thriller that will have you thinking about the story line in days to come.
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.) 16-year-old Ellie is scared and confused by the blackouts she suffers from, which leave her waking up in strange places with no idea of where she has been or what she has done. What is the cause of Ellie’s blackouts? And what happens to her when she’s not in control? This book started out okay, but the last third was just weird. Ellie was an okay character, and I felt really sorry for her and the way she was constantly getting these blackouts. I totally got how upsetting it would be to wake up with a tattoo and have no idea how you got it, and to not be able to confide in anyone would be awful. The storyline in this was pretty good, although it did remind me of another book – ‘The Half-Life of Molly Pierce’. The girl in that – Molly, suffered from exactly the same medical condition as Ellie, and even had the same unnerving experience of coming out of a blackout to find herself driving a car. I did like this story for the most part, but the last third was just odd, and I didn’t really like it. In theory it might have been a good idea, but for me it just didn’t work out well, and I ended up feeling quite confused by the ending. There was some romance, but it wasn’t really a really good romance so much as just a part of the storyline. The ending was odd, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. That last third of the book, and the strangeness and confusion of the ending really ruined this book for me. Overall; okay story, but the ending ruined it for me, 6.5 out of 10.
'Fragile Line' is a unique and compelling young adult novel that blends an intense mystery alongside realistic fiction dealing with mental health issues. The book follows our heroine, Elizabeth "Ellie" Cox, who has been experiencing blackouts - chunks of missing time and memories - for the majority of her life. Normally they were small things like going to bed at night or doing a project at school. Now the blackouts are coming on stronger and closer together. Ellie's starting to lose critical time periods - hours and eventually even days - and she has no idea what has happened. She wakes one morning to find that she got a tattoo sometime the previous day, but she has no memory of it at all. Worse yet, she disappears for three days straight and wakes up in a random guy's apartment with absolutely no idea of how she got there or what had happened while she was gone. With her blackouts causing serious problems in her life, along with fragments of memories from her childhood and evidence of her doing things she never would do, Ellie must decide whether to keep hiding from her secrets and her past - or she must confront them head on and learn the heartbreaking truth of what happened to her when she was young as well as what the blackouts really are. I found this novel to be a fantastic blend of realistic contemporary fiction and a powerful mystery. All aspects of the story line had me completely engrossed in the book and I couldn't stop reading until I found out what was really happening to Ellie and why. The way that the author wrote about Ellie's problems and eventually her disorder was great - it was woven into the mystery and the plot of the story - giving the reader a better understanding of a serious mental illness without sounding boring or clinical. Adding in the mystery behind the blackouts and Ellie's determination to discover the truth really brought the plot to a deeper level, and I felt that everything flowed together in a seamless way to create a riveting novel. The characters were well written, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, flaws and problems - which I thought made them easy to identify with as a reader. Ellie was a wonderful main character for the story. She's smart, determined, a devoted daughter, sister and friend, but she's also broken, scared, and scarred by her past. I found it very interesting that the story was divided into different parts told from either Ellie's or Gwen's point of view. I think it gives the reader an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes for the characters and helps to know each one on a more personal level. The plot was perfectly crafted with the mystery weaving into the mental health issues and to deeper topics such as family, love, truth, and facing your fears. I found the mystery aspect to be fantastic and I was completely at a loss for the first portion of the book as to what was happening. After I realized the truth, the strange occurrences and issues that Ellie dealt with and tried to understand made complete sense and I enjoyed learning the complete truth about it all right alongside her. Overall, this is a magnificent book that mixes genres to create an original novel of realistic fiction and mystery. Highly recommended for fans of YA contemporary fiction and those who enjoy mysteries. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.