{Review} CROSSING THE LINE by Katie McGarry

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN, the question "Why?" glares at me like the correct accusation it is.  This dialogue between Lila and me, it breaks every unsaid rule about our relationship.  We never plug in like this.  Never.  Not that part of me hasn't wanted a faster connection to her.  A link beyond the letters, but there was something about the written word that made our relationship safe.  
And now we're crossing lines.
(page 8, nook e-book edition)

CROSSING THE LINE may be a novella, but it never felt like one.  Too many novellas are fast-paced, offering only a glimpse of life that ties in to a larger book.  Somehow, Katie McGarry managed to create a full, fleshed-out story.  Did I want more?  Yes, of course!  Lila and Lincoln are both great characters, and I would have loved to dig into their psyche more, especially the downtrodden Lincoln.  One of the things I liked so much about PUSHING THE LIMITS was all the grit, the way we emphasized with the characters over their issues.  I still felt we got to learn a lot about both of the characters despite the brevity of the story in which they were contained.  In some ways, I would have rather seen a full novel from this couple as opposed to Beth and Ryan in DARE YOU TO. (But that's because Beth isn't my favorite among McGarry's heroines.  I could read about Ryan for hours, though!  A review of DARE YOU TO is coming next month closer to the book's release, so look forward to it!)  

Readers familiar with PUSHING THE LIMITS will recognize Lila as Echo's best friend.  Readers unfamiliar with PUSHING THE LIMITS need not worry about picking CROSSING THE LINE up first.  There are a few things that pick up from the first book, but they're both fully self-contained.  Lincoln is a wholly original character we were never introduced to the first time around.  Lila and Lincoln met two and a half years ago at Echo's brother Aires' funeral.  Lincoln's brother, Josh, were part of the same military unit and both killed in Afghanistan.  Lincoln went to Aires' funeral hoping for closure.  He found Lila.  The two became pen pals, and one of the most charming parts about CROSSING THE LINE is the way the start of each new chapter includes a snipped from their letters to one another.  Graduation is now upon both Lila and Lincoln, and they've made plans to meet up again in college.  The only problem?  Lincoln is keeping a secret, a big one.  When Lila uncovers it, the dynamic of their relationship changes, and they must deal with their feelings for one another in person.
I wasn't a fan of Lila's ex-boyfriend; at first, I wasn't unsure about his inclusion in the story due to length, but by the end, I completely understood why he had to be included, and I approve.  I also admire the way McGarry packed so much into a novella without allowing information to ever overwhelm readers.  Nothing was left out, or felt rushed, or left loose ends.  It was a complete story.  Looking back, I can't quite believe this was so short because it felt very full to me.  The only reason I know I'm tricking myself is because I could have read this storyline for hours!  McGarry continues to excel at developing characters that readers can't help but fall in love with and root for.   My only problem with CROSSING THE LINE was that it was over much too soon!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover wouldn't make me personally pick up the book and read it, but I don't pick up a lot of books in this genre, so the cover isn't meant for me.  

I do, however, really like the way the blue from the cover pulls from the blue in the guy's shirt.  Not only that, the title is textured with the same lighting style that ripples over the couple on the cover, which I think is really unique and fun!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Received: Purchased

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.


  1. I'm so excited to read this one. I read the other books and devoured them. Ryan is such a dream. Sigh...rain water...

    I love the pen pal part of this and it sounds great. I have no doubt I'll love it like the others. Great review.

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island


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