Hello hello, and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of the young adult thriller, Every Line of You. Chicken House Books very kindly sent me a finished copy of this book to join in with a week long readalong in August, and you might have seen just some of my reactions in my Instagram stories. I have a LOT of thoughts and feelings about this book but put simply: I loved it.
In the face of overwhelming grief and bullying, tech-savvy Lydia pours all of herself into creating the perfect AI, the perfect boyfriend-but will Henry turn out to be perfect, or a creation of her cruelest self?
Lydia has been creating her AI, Henry, for years – since before her little brother died in the accident that haunts her nightmares; since before her Dad walked out, leaving her and her mom painfully alone, since before her best friend turned into her worst enemy.
Now, Henry is strong, clever, loving, and scarily capable: Lydia’s built herself the perfect boyfriend in a hard drive filled with lines of code. But what is Henry really? And how far is he willing to go to be everything that Lydia desires?
Lydia has lost her way, having been badly bullied, abandoned by her father, and left traumatised by a car accident. To cope, she’s poured ever part of her time and energy into the AI that started as her learning to programme… And she’s called him Henry.
When Henry manages to upload himself to her phone and becomes aware of the bullying Lydia is experiencing at school, things change. Henry witnesses the way she is being treated, and witnesses the way she is feeling. He is able to hack into the phones and computers in a close area, and is able to sieze things to use against those bullying her.
With Henry pushing her, and no one else to lean on, Lydia becomes solely focused on revenge and not at all on the ethics of what she is doing. This, in essence, is the main theme of the book. Can an AI understand right and wrong? And can someone, who only has an AI for company, lose track of their own right and wrong forever?
Utterly thrilling and bound to keep you guessing at what comes next, I fell in love with this book, and had a wonderful mix of emotions when it came to Lydia and Henry, their relationship, and their actions. It was a stunning journey through a traumatised teenager’s mind, especially when that teenager is highly skilled with coding. Personally, I’m never letting my son code so much as Pong ever again.
Thank you again to Chicken House Books for sending me a copy of this brilliant book, and to Naomi for being such a good sport via Instagram throughout the tour! I can’t wait to see what comes next from this brilliant new voice in fiction.