I have been absolutely spoiled by the Chicken House team to one of the books that I have had my eye on for a while now! I’m not normally a science fiction reader, but with the increasing rise of smart technology, the story of girl and her AI feels less like fiction and more like foreshadowing. Before I start my review, I just want to thank the people at Chicken House for providing my review copy. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book.
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?
- Young Adult
- Science Fiction
title ♡ every line of you
author ♡ naomi gibson
series ♡ none
pages ♡ 352
edition ♡ paperback
publisher ♡ chicken house
Naomi Gibson’s stunning debut novel Every Line of You is a gripping story of love, desperation and the lengths you can go to feel love. Lydia has lost a lot – she lost her brother, her father and she’s slowly losing her mother to. Her only escape is programming the Artificial Intelligence she began to build with her father. The story follows Lydia’s decent into madness as her AI grows more powerful than she would every imagine and lead into dangerous new highs. The plot was so, so original and I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. I adored how dark the story became, with Lydia and Henry going to extreme lengths to protect what they had and were.
Lydia was a bit of a marmite character – you either love her, or you hate her. My thoughts and feelings on her are still pretty mixed because at the end of the day, she did a lot of bad things but did them without through a lot of manipulation and desire to be loved. Her grief mixed with the neglect aspect really showcase just how vulnerable she is. It’s ironic as she quotes Henry, her AI, as vulnerable when in reality, he’s more put together than she was. Henry on the other hand was a character that I really didn’t want to like, but still ended up liking him in the end. It’s hard to hold an AI accountable for all their wrongdoing because at the end of the day, how would an AI know right from wrong? He acted, though ridiculous at times, out of love and desire to protect Lydia – his best friend, creator and lover. The one character I had little sympathy for was Pete. It was quite disgusting how her attempted to force himself on Lydia several times in the story and then gaslight her when she didn’t reciprocate those feelings.
There are several dark themes touched upon in the book: bullying, grief, rejection and neglect are just a few. I really felt for Lydia as she spiralled out of control as her emotions controlled her for the large portion of the story. The portrayal of mental health in the book was a little bumpy. Both Lydia’s mother and the authorities were quick to section Lydia without getting to the root cause of her erratic behaviour. It was used more as a weapon than something that could be highlighted and discussed more thoroughly in the book.
Pacing of the book was quite spot on. At no point during the story did I find myself questioning the validity or necessity of certain chapters. My only concern was that I felt there was no real conclusion to the book – perhaps because of the damn cliff-hanger at the very end. All in all, the book took me around an hour and a half to finish. I think that speaks volumes for how gripped I actually was. I needed to get to the end of the story – I needed to see what was going to happen to Lydia and Henry. Every Line of You was also a very easy read in terms of the target audience. This book is perfect for teens transitioning into more mature storylines and would be the perfect book for young girls interested in STEM.
I really, really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what Naomi Gibson will bring us next. I’m looking forward to the potential sequel that may or may not be lined up on Goodreads; and I’m interested to see where Lydia and Henry’s story will take us next.