Katie McGarry is a well-known American author. She has authored several award-winning serial novellas such as Pushing the Limits and Crossing the Line, among others. Even though Katie majored in political science, she likes to introduce herself as a full-time writer and mom. In her own words, she is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television.


Lila McCormick is the best friend of Echo from Pushing the Limits. She first met Lincoln Turner when a tragedy turned their lives upside down. However, she could have never thought that a chance encounter would turn them into pen pals for two years. What baffles her even more is how she could fall for a guy she has only seen once. By the time they see each other again in person, it is almost as if they know every little secret about each other.

Despite their clandestine relationship, Lila feels closer to Lincoln than to anyone else. However, all that flies out of the window when lies end up devastating their beautiful relationship.


The plot is short – perhaps too short for the readers’ liking – though it is definitely not short on excitement. The romance between Lila and Lincoln is quite adorable. Their correspondence-based relationship is bound to strike a chord with many a reader. In the age of computers, online messengers, Skype and whatnot, the idea of taking the time to pen down your thoughts and feelings and, most importantly, share them with someone you barely know comes across as a pleasant surprise. The couple’s agonizing wait for each other’s return letters also makes for a refreshing and gripping story line.

A letter from Crossing the Line, between pen pals Lila and Lincoln

Crossing the Line is a short, swoony read. Too many contemporary novellas are so fast-paced that they barely offer a glimpse into the lives of their characters. To her credit, however, Katie McGarry has managed to create a pretty fleshed-out story for an extremely short book. The way she packs so much into this mini-novella without ever allowing the information to overwhelm her readers is also commendable. Nothing is left out, at no point does the novel feel rushed, and there are no loose ends; Crossing the Line is a complete story in every sense of the word.

McGarry’s characterization is quite brilliant, too. The readers will do well not to fall in love with the characters, especially the protagonists.

The author also merits a lot of praise for her writing style. While a young-adult novella, Crossing the Line has a lot more to it than teenage angst and frustration. The characters come over as realistic teenagers with real issues and teen-induced mood swings. The plot is a splendid tapestry of individual struggles, dark pasts, and a breathtaking romance. The way Lila and Lincoln’s relationship evolves is just so natural that you will wish for the story to have gone on.


Apart from the obvious 67-page length of the book, the one thing that does not really work is Lila’s issue. She is afraid to be alone at home. She is also afraid to go to college unaccompanied. While some readers may relate to her, her persona is a lot more complicated. She can barely step out of her house alone. When her parents are away on vacation, they leave Post-it notes reminding her how she can have a safe stay at home. Now, while this does tell us how serious her problem is, its origin is never really explained in the book. Furthermore, for such a severe issue, it gets resolved far too quickly.

The novel’s length also prevents the author from exploring the psyche of her characters, especially that of Lincoln.


Everything is changing. My relationships are changing, my future is changing, my feelings are changing. My life is one big constant state of flux. I grew up scared of spiders, bees and dark corners in dimly lit basements. But this foe… change… it terrorizes me like nothing before.

Is it weird that I feel so close to you even though you’re hundreds of miles away and we’ve only met once? I hope not. I’m glad that you’re in my life. ~Lila

If it wasn’t for Noah, Echo would need me more… she would still be insecure, she would still be obsessing over the scars on her arms. She possibly wouldn’t have recovered her memory of the night she got them. If it wasn’t for him, she wouldn’t be moving on with her life. Damn him for being a great guy.

We both explore, a hesitant dance as we glide over lines neither of us imagined crossing.


Ameya Rating:

Although Crossing the Line is too short to be rated critically, a score of 3.9 out of 5 seems fairly reasonable. The novella is a great sequel to Pushing the Limits. It also qualifies as a decent read for new readers looking for a satisfactory romance novella.

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