Girl on the Line

­HarperTeen. Jan. 2021. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063022300.
Gr 9 Up–Journey Smith is a bisexual high school senior who recently attempted suicide by swallowing pills. As she dealt with her parents’ divorce and a car accident, Journey’s parents got her help and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, as she takes college classes and volunteers at a crisis center, Journey finds a new crush in Etta, whom she meets at orientation. Journey still struggles with her mental illness and is on a path to figure it all out. As stated in an author’s note, this is a work of fiction but inspired by Gardner’s own experience. The narrative is divided into three parts, with the first alternating between the present and what happened right after Journey’s suicide attempt. Gardner does not shy from the truth of Journey’s experience but is sensitive in her portrayal. Journey’s attempted suicide does occur in the book but is handled in a way suited to the target audience, as is another call into the crisis center. Journey’s ethnicity is never stated, and her mother is described as having “bottle-red-hair” and pale gold eyes.
VERDICT A worthy addition to library collections, especially for those looking to expand their mental health collections and add more titles featuring LGBTQIA characters.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing