The Line is an urban fantasy about a powerful Southern witching family, told from the point of view of Mercy, the family’s black sheep. For the most part I liked Mercy’s character for the majority of the book, I could relate to her and could understand some of the troubles she faced, though by the end there are some inconsistencies in her characterization.
There was a love triangle right off the bat which I didn’t care for, the childhood friend and her sister’s boyfriend. Her friend is handsome and dedicated to her, and she knows that she should love him back, but she just doesn’t feel that spark that she feels for her sister’s boyfriend. Oh drama, it wouldn’t be a young adult book without you. The first thing that bothered me about Mercy was her sole focus on her boy problems, even going as far as looking to magic to fix her problems. I could, however, relate partially to her complicated feelings toward Peter, in terms of just not feeling that excited love for someone she knows would be right for her. This book definitely explored more mature themes of love that I feel is important for more young people to see. Love isn’t always all about that thrill you feel when you’re around someone, and it’s often the quiet caring you have for someone that you just feel comfortable with turns out to be the longest lasting love of all.
Too bad neither Peter nor Jackson are worth the time or effort. The attraction between Mercy and Jackson is weak and is barely explained. As for Peter? Well he turns out to be a selfish piece of shit. So there is no winning for Mercy either way.
“Forgiveness was not a one-time act. It was decision to move on and focus on a person’s good features each time the hurt over what they’ve done crept back up on you.”
Other than the love triangle, the story hums along good and well, steadily unraveling several sinister secrets about her family that actually kept me guessing. I loved the air of mystery around the hoodoo mistress Mother Jilo, and I found the magic world built in the story fascinating. The only downer to me was Mercy’s naiveté throughout the entire story, even when certain characters had already showed their malicious intentions. By the end she’s still determined to find the good in these people, making it her mission to make things right, and that bothered me. I get being forgiving, but without spoiling anything, trust me, there is a point where she needs to wake up and realize the maliciousness and greed that people are capable of. This is the same character that had been distrustful and bitter toward most of her family, but chooses to turn a blind eye toward ones that are also out to hurt her.
My qualms with the story aside, the writing style was quite clean, and the descriptions of beautiful Savannah are vivid. However I did get mildly annoyed in the beginning of the book, whenever Mercy walked outside there were repetitive and overly dramatic descriptions of how the heat enveloped her. I know the South is hot, I grew up there, but damn.
Overall I’m undecided if I really want to continue this series or not. I almost rated this book higher, but I just couldn’t get past Mercy’s senselessly sugar sweet attitude at the end of the novel.
To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.
Despite being powerless herself, of course.
Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.