Novella Review: Crossing the Line
By: Katie McGarry
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Page Count: 67
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
It pains me not to give out five birdies to Katie McGarry. I love her work so much that I feel like a traitor here... Crossing The Line was an interesting novella, and I think it had a lot of promise. My main issue with it was that it squeezed a lot of story into too short a space, which made some of the decisions of Lila and Lincoln seem far too rushed. In particular this reflected badly on Lila.
The premise of the novella is that Lila and Lincoln met at the funeral of Aires, Echo’s older brother in Pushing The Limits. They were both in pain, and somehow their chance meeting allowed each of them to open up, so much so that they decided to write each other letters. I loved that idea, as letter writing is a real lost art form in this digital age. I look back fondly to the one or two letters I received from boys in my teens, and I think it is sad that many girls today simply won’t have that option... looking back to an email isn’t the same as having the paper with The Guy’s writing on it. I digress.
As Crossing The Line starts, Lincoln has fouled up and been caught in a lie to Lila, the one person he should never lie to. He has to fix the situation quickly, and finds himself driving 10 hours to see her for only the second time ever, all the while wondering if he is slightly mad because he thinks he is in love with her. Luckily for him, he is still attracted to her when they meet up. So far, so good. The problem comes when Lila enters the picture; she is scared of the next steps she will have to take in life, and repeatedly changes her mind about what she is going to do in the short space of a few hours. She moves from being scared of everything to being fearless in the course of an evening or two, and it made me feel that she was being a silly little girl for some of the story.
The romance between Lincoln and Lila was both inevitable and hot; as usual for Katie McGarry, she knows how to weaken my knees! I devoured this literary crumb in about an hour, and would have gladly sat with Lincoln and Lila for much longer than that. In fact, I think that might be my main criticism... I think Crossing The Line should have been a full novel, not a novella. There was enough material there to build the backbone of a great story... a little more sketching in of the details, stretch out the time line a bit, delve into Lincoln’s dreadful home life some more, make Lila’s ex-boyfriend Stephen a little larger in the story... it could have been another five birdie book. I wish it had been. *sigh*
Katie McGarry captivated readers with her “riveting, emotional”* Young Adult debut, Pushing the Limits. In this gripping novella, she tells the story of Lila and Lincoln, who discover that sometimes it’s worth crossing the line for love…
Lila McCormick, Echo's best friend from Pushing the Limits, first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters—or that she’d fall for the boy she’s only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.
Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he’s never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila’s forgiveness—and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.