ARC Review: Fragile Line

Fragile Line
Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: April 21, 2014

When I’m asleep, I’m afraid someone else might take my place. It can happen in a flash. One minute she’s kissing her boyfriend, the next she’s lost in the woods. Sixteen-year-old Ellie Cox is losing time. It started out small…forgetting a drive home or a conversation with a friend. But her blackouts are getting worse, more difficult to disguise as forgetfulness. When Ellie goes missing for three days, waking up in the apartment of a mysterious guy—a guy who is definitely not her boyfriend—her life starts to spiral out of control. Perched on the edge of insanity, with horrific memories of her childhood leaking in, Ellie struggles to put together the pieces of what she’s lost—starting with the name haunting her, Gwen. Heartbreakingly beautiful and intimately drawn, this poignant story follows one girl’s harrowing journey to finding out who she really is.

Fragile Line is an intense realistic fiction about a girl living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. It all begins with little things Ellie forgets, progressing onto things and places she can’t remember, until the day she blackouts for three days. During those three days, she completely blacks out. Hesitant to tell anyone for fear of becoming lesser in their eyes, she keeps avoiding the situation. Being an adopted kid, she wants to fulfill everyone’s expectations of her and even wants to be perfect for her boyfriend. Add to that the stresses of school, her ex-best friend who tries to break her relationship and everything she can’t remember, she is spiraling down and getting weaker until her other self can break through more often.

Normally, when such cases of multiple personalities are talked about, it is assumed that the other self is the evil one, bursting through and damaging the person’s life. But the author has done a fine job of reminding that every consciousness is a person, a person who has reasons for what they do. When we see things through Gwen’s eyes, we realize that she too is fighting in her own way to stay on. She is what splintered off Ellie from her worst memories and she is the one who remembers those horrific events, so in a way she is the broken one. It was utterly heart-breaking how her life plays out – always in the shadows, looking from the outside in and never being wanted by anyone. The contrast of these two extremely different characters was the high point of book.

The author delivered the two perspectives so seamlessly, accompanied with a rich but succinct prose. The psychological aspect was handled well, with full empathy arising in my mind. It wasn’t really the battle between the two personalities, but more the reasons for their existence. The ending was left open-ended, which is not surprising considering the nature of the story matter. I found this book extremely good – I wouldn’t say enjoy because it was not really a sunshine book and dealt with a lot of dark subjects – and I loved the way the author presented such a sensitive issue.

Received an ARC from Entangled Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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