Crossing the Line, by Dianne Bates

Reviewed by Kathryn Duncan

Sophie is embarking on a new part of her life, one that sets her challenges she has never previously faced. Abandoned as a child, her early life is spent with her aunt and uncle before they too leave her alone and she eventually falls into the cycle of foster families. As a young adult, she is given the opportunity to live in a share house with Amy and Matt and her life looks to be on track.

Like many teenagers, Sophie has her own secrets; self-harming being one of them and one she is able to hide. Concerned about the depression Sophie suffers from, her counsellor arranges for her to be hospitalised. Sophie finds reassurance in developing a friendship with her new counsellor. The counsellor, however, does not view the relationship in the same way and before long Sophie is struggling with what she perceives as another rejection.

Crossing the Line is a compassionate story of teenage struggles and one that is willing to look at the harder issues faced by teenagers today. Sophie’s character develops from a confident young girl trying to make a new start, to a distressed teen in a situation she cannot control. The only person she believes she can trust rejects her, and the one person she can trust, she rejects. It is an emotional roller coaster not only for Sophie, but also for the reader.

Crossing the Line is a story that could have more than one outcome and as a reader you hope that the final pages offer a positive one. Rather than provide endings, Crossing the Line offers new beginnings and encourages readers to believe that there is a brighter side to life, once you have made it through the darkness.

Crossing the Line is a well written and sensitive look at a difficult and emotional topic, and a book you will have finished before you realise you have even started.

Crossing the Line, by Dianne Bates
Ford Street Publishing, 2008
PB rrp $16.95