Review: Long Blue Line by E. McNew


Taking place in the idyllic town of South Lake Tahoe, CA, Long Blue Line is the coming of age of Elizabeth Jeter. It candidly reveals the provocative and secret world of a planned teen pregnancy and the brutal consequences that follow. The girl next door – popular and driven.

Once upon a time a beautiful teenager looked forward to school letting out and the warm, carefree days to come. But in the summer of her fifteenth year, things would drastically change. After reading a romance book sensationalizing a young woman’s perfect life following the hookup with a wealthy prince charming, Elizabeth set out to create her own fairy tale ending. This would become the beginning of the darkest hours in her life: pregnancy, bridesmaids, drugs and jail.

Long Blue Line is Elizabeth’s true story about her descent into addiction. Her obsession with pregnancy, social issues, independence, and, ultimately drugs is chronicled in brutally honest prose that will leave you spellbound. Her journey isn’t over – far from it. She still has nightmares, but today she is wiser and lives in reality.

If you are this girl, you will take a deep breath and nod your head knowingly. If you knew this girl, you will rethink your assumptions. If this girl is your daughter, you will finally get an insider’s look at what she can’t put into words.

Above all, you will be moved – moved to tears, to unity, to action. Elizabeth is one of the lucky ones. She survived. Sadly, many young women and their children are unable to escape the madness and become another one of too many true crime stories. Not everyone gets a second chance, and she hopes to inspire others with her straightforward honesty.

I got this book as a free Kindle download. I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but the truth is, I didn’t. I’m usually able to finish a book this size in a couple days, but I had a hard time reading it. Not because of the content, but because of the never-ending errors in spelling, grammar, and words that were either misused or left out completely. (Granted, the missing word issue didn’t happen often, and only towards the end of the book… but still, it was annoying.)

Other eyesores include:

** The names of the brothers (Derrick and Donnie) being swapped several times in the last quarter of the book. I’m guessing this may have happened because their real names weren’t used in the book, and the author mistakenly used the wrong aliases.

** Conversations taking place in the same loooooong paragraph rather than using the standard dialogue rule of starting a new paragraph each time a different person speaks, which made conversations hard to follow. Not to mention, it’s a strain on the eyes reading paragraphs that aren’t broken up properly.

** Being taken out the ‘present’ of the book, to events (or hinted-at events, at least) that take place in the near and/or distant future. Done properly, in a way that makes clear that it is an aside, or glimpse of things to come, it wouldn’t have bothered me. But done within the same paragraph, with no hint that what is being said refers to a later time, is a bit jarring. It happens repeatedly throughout the book, and it always shoved me right out of the story.

As I’ve often found myself saying in reviews of Kindle freebies, this book desperately needed better editing. I also felt, at times, the story didn’t have a natural flow to it. I’m not saying the book as a whole needed to be written in precise, chronological orders of events, but it did need some smoothing out, somehow. Perhaps a good editor could have helped in that regard, as well.

And personally, I’d have preferred to read the entire story in one book. This story is (so far) broken up into three separate books*, and so many details are repeated in books two and three before you finally reach the new details… it’s a little tedious going back over stuff you already know, when you just want to find out what happens next.

And yeah… I still want to find out what happens next. I’m just not sure I want to re-read chunks of books 1-3 in book four in order to find out.

*Fifteen &…What?! and Testing the Waters: The Unplanned Pregnancy of a Fifteen-Year-Old are the first two books written by Ms. McNew, but it’s not necessary to read these books, as The Long Blue Line includes the happenings in those books and continues the story.

Author: E. McNew

Title: Long Blue Line: Based On A True Story

Published: September 29, 2014

Rating: ★★

goodreads-badge-add-plusThis review was originally published on Goodreads on August 30, 2015.