‘Every Line of You’ by Naomi Gibson Book Review


Source: Goodreads

Matilda McLaren, Scoop Writer

Naomi Gibson’s intricately haunting dystopian novel, “Every Line of You”, follows coding prodigy Lydia and her journey in creating a sentient boyfriend, Henry, from a single line of code. Haunted by the death of her younger brother, the aching loss of her best friend and her father walking out on the family, Lydia grapples with common symptoms of teenage angst and solitude in this heart-wrenching novel. 

In an inadvertent effort to reciprocate her late brother’s companionship, Lydia’s life is consumed by perfecting Henry’s program for three grueling years. He originates as just a hard drive in Lydia’s backpack, but eventually becomes more and more dangerous. Lydia intends to make her AI even more tangible, going to unthinkable measures to locate a human vessel for Henry’s chip. Government officials soon arrive at Lydia’s school to investigate online infractions concerning a bank. The line between Lydia’s capability to craft independent decisions and Henry’s motive for mischief blurs.

The combination of her strict, grieving mother and certain disciplinary dilemmas at school cause Lydia to wind up in psychiatric wards and prisons. Because of Henry’s nefarious behavior and her complicity, they both find themselves in extremely criminal situations. Interwoven throughout the plot is an intriguing romance between the two characters which touches on the fragility of youth and the psychological reparations of heartbreak. 

In addition to its central theme of love, Gibson’s “Every Line of You” emphasizes guilt and compassion as an integral part of the book. She perfectly contrasts the natural human inclination to feel empathy with Henry’s psychopathic tendencies, allowing the reader to reflect on technology’s deficiencies in certain (important) aspects.

Although Gibson trails Lydia’s growth and development towards becoming a self-reliant adult throughout the book, the ending reveals just how enthralling AI ultimately is to the female protagonist.

I would strongly recommend “Every Line of You” to avid readers of science fiction as well as those who do not share an inclination for the genre. Gibson manages to meld dystopia with science fiction in a carefully crafted story that chills and simultaneously interests all readers.

Originally I felt skeptical about the AI aspect of the story and worried about an “exaggerated” plot line with a sacrifice in credibility. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Gibson’s logical character developments and her concise but vivid use of language.

Although Lydia’s lines of code were complicated and challenging, the decision to read this novel is not. The link to Naomi Gibson’s website will be linked below, where she details updates regarding the official release date of “Every Line of You”, as well as interesting factoids regarding the novel.