REVIEW: A Line in the Dark, Malinda Lo (Oct. 17, 2017)

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.