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A Line in the Dark (2017)

by Malinda Lo

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21013108,793 (3.4)None
"When Chinese American teenager Jess Wong's best friend Angie falls in love with a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess expects heartbreak. But when everybody's secrets start to be revealed, the stakes quickly elevate from love or loneliness to life or death"--
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I heard this was a lesbian murder mystery, and so I wanted to read it -- it is that, but it's more about the undercurrents in school life -- who likes who? Who has money? or doesn't? How does skin color or privilege effect what's going on? What about alcohol? Or talent? It was pretty engrossing, and I found the lesbian aspect appealing, but I'm not sure I'd say that I really liked the book -- too contemporary fiction for me. Too high school. All of which are exactly what the book is meant to be. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
mixed genre of teen angst/drama with murder mystery, and Lo manages both admirably. I pretty much missed the twist at the end, which was delightful.
  fred_mouse | Dec 10, 2021 |
This is a hard one to review. I almost would have preferred not having read the epilogue, and I would say don't read the epilogue if you prefer a little mystery in your books.

Overall, aside from the ending, this was such a great read. I honestly wasn't focused on finding out who the killer was at all. The chapters are short and the character dynamics and relationships were intense which kept me engaged the entire way through.

I read this book in one sitting and I think I might check out more by this author!

What's your view on epilogues, do you prefer to know everything or are some things better left unsaid? ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
teen fiction (LGBTQ interest). I want to like Malinda Lo's books just for diversity's sake (Chinese/lesbians) because there aren't enough out there yet that accurately represent the diversity of our populations, but after reading this (as with her diverse Cinderella story, Ash), I was underwhelmed.

Maybe the cover (which looks terrific) set me up for disappointment, as it really isn't that dark or gory of a story--or really that suspenseful or twisty either. Just mean girls with secrets, but not terribly surprising secrets.
I maybe would've liked to see a collaboration with a graphic artist to tell the parts of Jess' comics--that might have been cool, though the plot overall didn't thrill me much in general.

Parental considerations: contains sex, marijuana, and drinking (and not all that responsibly).

For other books about diverse teens interested in comics/graphic art, maybe try Jen Wilde's Queens of Geek instead. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
YES. GIMME MORE COMMERCIAL QUEER LADY GENRE YA FICTION.

I looooooooved this. Delightfully flirts those lines between obsession, love, and friendship. An unreliable narrator? *thinky face emoji* Oh my, yes.

Perfect for fans of Kara Thomas or, if I have to say it, E. Lockhart. ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
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"When Chinese American teenager Jess Wong's best friend Angie falls in love with a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess expects heartbreak. But when everybody's secrets start to be revealed, the stakes quickly elevate from love or loneliness to life or death"--

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