The Line Between by Tamsyn Bester

The Line Between - Tamsyn Bester
Too bad I could never act on those feelings though. My loathing now outweighed my desire to fuck her senseless, and I finally had a good enough reason to really hate her.

Ooh, look at all those red flags. Aren't they just wonderful decorations?

Many people have compared The Line Between to Bully by Penelope Douglas. I think that's a fair assessment. In fact, the stories are very similar. Both The Line Between and Bully offers a story of a victim of bullying falling for her tormenter. Both heroines return to their hometown after being away for a longer while, and on the first day home they end up at a party their bully is hosting where they encounter said bully. They have both changed into stronger people, more secure in their own skin. InBully the heroine returns for her last year of high school and lives next door to her bully. In The Line Between they end up neighbors at college. Here they deal with the dynamics of their love/hate feelings toward one another while also tackling their own (tragic) pasts. The pasts are somewhat different for the two books, so they are not identical.

There are two specific differences between these books, though. Plotwise there's no bigger difference since neither book manage to handle the tough issue of bullying (and other issues) with care. Both books fail to make the transition from hate to love, rather making it go from hate to lust, never really love. When it comes to the characters none made an impression. So let's look at the differences:

1. The misogyny
2. The humanization of the bully

In The Line Between the misogyny was there, albeit in small doses. And it failed miserably to humanize the bully, simply making him douche of the year.

In Bully every page was dripping of misogyny, but it managed to an extent to humanize the bully.

See the difference?

Basically, that's it. Instead of dealing with the issue of bullying both stories end up romanticize the subject and make it about horny teenagers. They offer stories about awful people with few or no redeeming qualities, forgets to add a plot, and end up being failures, both of them.

And really, I had it with this book when, while they still admit to disliking each other (at least she), they have sex to alleviate the "tension". Still, how many people with a brain would do it without a condom simply because the other person – who claims to hate you – says he/she is clean?

New Adult Project:
Items ticked off: 18