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Dead on Town Line

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  205 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Making her powerful yet quiet debut, Connor delivers this original novel-in-verse--the story of a girl who is murdered by a classmate and finds herself stuck on the edges of the world she once knew and a realm whose tug she feels but can't quite find her way to. Illustrations.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published November 2nd 2006 by Speak (first published 2005)
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Novels in Verse
137th out of 258 books — 611 voters
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135th out of 149 books — 367 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 342)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 2.75* of five

The Publisher Says: Of all the revelations her afterlife brings, perhaps the most startling thing Cassie Devlin discovers is that being dead isn't being done. Murdered by a classmate, Cassie finds herself stuck on the edges of the world she once knew and a realm whose tug she feels but can't quite find her way to. And . . . she is not alone. There's another like her, who arrived earlier and who, like Cassie, has some unfinished business. Beautifully crafted in electrifying f
Linda Lipko
Feb 15, 2013 Linda Lipko rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Because Waiting for Normal was so beautifully written, I gave it five stars. Usually when I find a book the caliber of a four-five star read, I seek others by the same author.

This is a haunting story of Cassie who is dead, but her spirit lingers. Killed by the brother, and at the direction of a jealous, angry classmate, Cassie's body is stuck in the middle of a crevice along town line.

Town line is analogous to the south side of any small town. The side where all those of small minds talk about,
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

I had to lower the rating on this book, not because it wasn't a good story (it's a very beautiful, poignant one) or because of the style of the writing (the book is written in free verse). I did it because, after buying a hardcover book, it took me fifteen minutes to read it.

Cassie Devlin lived a pretty good life--a loving mother, friends at school, a wonderful boyfriend named Kyle, outstanding ability to write music and play the piano, and a group of like-wis
Feb 19, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing
This is a great book... I can't believe I got it for 50 cents at Ollies. I thought it would be a quick read and it was but it is very good
Oct 17, 2010 Mariah rated it it was ok
"Dead On Town Line," by Leslie Connor is a book written in poetry form. It was an okay book. In my opinion, I do not suggest this book. This book is kind of confusing unless you get into it.
The theme of this book would have to be that if you have patience, good things will come in time. The main character, Cassie Devlin, is murdered. She tells her story has she is a part of a tree. She soon finds out that there is a girl named Birdie in the tree with her. She was also murdered. She tells her s
May 27, 2012 Val rated it it was amazing
This is a quick read—131 pages written in verse with lots of white space on the page. The story itself is haunting, told from the point of view of Cassie, a ghost lingering around the site of her murder and awaiting the day she will find closure for her death (note: don’t read the back blurb if you want to figure out the murderer on your own). She encounters another ghost, Birdie, this one from the 1940s, whose missing body is buried nearby. Through the narrative, Cassie learns about a ghost’s p ...more
Garry Pfaffmann
Sep 04, 2015 Garry Pfaffmann rated it it was amazing
Dead on Town Line was an unusual book, because of its writing style. When I bought this book, I didn't realize that it was written as one long poem. But I loved it! It was also interesting to hear a woman's ghost, tell the story of how she was murdered. While it is an unusual style, the language was very beautiful. I only recommend this book for people who do not space out when they are reading, because every word matters!
Iris Longoria
Jun 01, 2014 Iris Longoria rated it really liked it
Dead on town line was reminded me of the lovely bones... it's basically a story about a girl named Cassie who was killed and buried on the town line where no one ever looks, in the end her body finally gets found and her mom and Kyle(boyfriend)finally have peace of mind. If you want to find out who and why they killed her I suggest you read the book and it's really short so there's nothing you can really lose from reading it.
Elizabeth Mcclain
Dead on Town Line is a series of short poems telling about a girl who was killed but nobody knows what happened to her so she's stuck in between life and after-death where her spirit wanders on Earth. Where she meets another woman stuck in this in-between spirit world. They soon begin to share their stories and you see not every death is just by old-age or illness. This book was unique to me in that it was written in short poems so you could sort of infer with yourself what things mean to you an ...more
Good book. Kind of a "Lovely Bones" type of book, but written in poetic verse. I don't usually judge a book by its cover, but this one did not interest me at first. Another friend of mine decided to read it, so I said, what the heck - it's a short read. To my surprise I read it in an hour. I really liked it. A few "a ha" moments too.
Sep 09, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
A quick read written in verse. A teenage girl is missing, dead in a fissure of rock on town line. The search in two counties misses her and her ghostly form is trapped. Another ghostly girl keeps her company and together they try to get found and subsequently freed.
Kevin Lucia
Jul 14, 2014 Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing
One of those nice surprises when you're at the local used book store. Think "Lovely Bones" smashed with Spoon River Anthology. Haunting verse, beautiful illustrations. I am glad I got it used, because I read it in 45 minutes.
Sean Nelson
Nov 26, 2011 Sean Nelson rated it really liked it
The book Dead on Town Line was one of the first of its kind that I have read. I am into exciting and thrilling books that keep you wanting to know what happens next, but this is not that kind of a book. I knew it was different the minute that I opened the book, because the format was... Wild. Each page was like a poem, and there were no quotation marks for speech. I just thought that made it unique. Anyway, I rate this book four stars because Leslie Connor does a great job in making you feel the ...more
Dec 05, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing
I loved the in - verse format of this book. it made it a fast read without lacking emotion. It is beautifully written to.address a tough topic.
Erin Knape
Jul 03, 2015 Erin Knape rated it it was amazing
It was a very depressing yet a beautifully written story filled with violence and music.
Apr 30, 2010 Alicia rated it it was amazing
A creepy and eerily similar plot to The Lovely Bones, Connor details the story of two young women, both murdered on the town line. They must, as ghosts, shake the branches and leaves so that the police will uncover their bodies or else they will float in limbo forever. Birdie has been there for decades, killed by the man who raped her when she was pregnant with their baby, and Cassie was just killed by her enemy's brother. Told in verse, this is exciting and leaving anyone wishing for more.

I sa
Alexus Marshall
Jan 25, 2013 Alexus Marshall rated it it was amazing
Dead on Town Line was a very enjoyable book. Cassie Devlin is found dead after being murdered in her town. This book speaks her feelings and shows how the dead sees the world after dying. She followers her mother, boyfriend, killer, and even her nemesis. I really enjoyed this book. I liked that the book was in poetry format. It gave the book a omniscient tone. I also enjoyed that the book was from a dead teenage girl's perspective which was something I had never seen before. I most certainly rec ...more
Ella Ahlijanian
Mar 11, 2014 Ella Ahlijanian rated it really liked it
I will write a review later
Oct 31, 2012 elysia rated it it was amazing
This book was an easy read with a very captivating storyline. This story was about a girl named Cassie that went missing,her family and friends don't know that her body is dead on town line, but in reality her soul was still around. She was murdered, by a girl that was jealous of her,the murders is Gail. Through this adventure she has a friend along with her, Birdie. Birdie was murdered in the 1400's with her unborn baby along with her. Eventually Cassie's body was found by her family,friends,an ...more
Thalia Estrada
Dec 13, 2013 Thalia Estrada rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this read a lot. I was pleased to read how involved the main character was with the story and with the finding of her body. It was also interesting to read about to completely different people who died many years apart could be so close simply because they were both ghosts. The writing was beautiful and it was horrible reading about who killed Cassie. I felt bad for Jory and was glad for Cassie's mom getting some sort of closure there at the end with score. I am glad to have come ...more
Ashley Blake
Sep 25, 2013 Ashley Blake rated it really liked it
I've read two of Leslie Connor's middle grade novels--this is something else altogether. Sixteen year old Cassie finds herself, as you would guess, dead on town line. As she meets another lost soul, she deals with her life, her death, her reality. Told in beautiful, haunting free verse, Connor really explores some poignant questions about life and death, about owning oneself, about the nature of the soul. I read this book in about an hour and loved it. Moving and heart-wrenching and hopeful.
Jun 19, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: yafiction
the least, i think they're woodcuts...are beautiful. oh, let's just call them illustrations, i guess. the story is sad, but lovely at times. i'm kinda surprised by how much the characters were developed given the length of the book and the format of the book. with poetry you've got to pack a lot more meaning into less space.

this is a book that i picked because i thought the cover was beautiful, so i now have one more data point disproving the maxim...
Aug 17, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok
I'm a bit conflicted writing this review. The storyline is unique, and perhaps it'll stay with me. But I'm not sure that free verse was the best treatment for this story. Much seemed too much like prose to me. Other lines seemed forced. The imagery is this book's saving grace, especially that of the intertwining threads of the ghosts, piano strings, lines on a grid.

Either way, you won't lose your time since I read this in one sitting in about 10 minutes.
Angie Crew
Jul 14, 2012 Angie Crew rated it really liked it
This was a neat read. It only took me a while but I felt like I was there. My only issue was the ending felt rushed. I wanted the bad people to suffer just a bit more. Sad of me I know...also, the finding of Birdie was rushed too...I needed more climax or build up...other than that...I love, love, loved is written as a poem with a morbid story...very cool and modern...I would read it if I was you!!!
Dec 14, 2011 Jodie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was able to read this book in a couple of hours. It is by the same author as Waiting for Normal. I gave this book 5 stars because of the originality as well as the way this story was written. Sad story, but it is written like a poem. The hole book is in prose. Not hard to understand and is full of imagery. Once again a very good story by Connor. Very much recommend this book as well.
Oct 03, 2011 Tia rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tia by: No one
I loved this book. It was fast moving, but it didn't leave anything behind. The emotions were real, and it was sad, but in a good way. One of the reasons I liked this book so much is because of the music. The author's use of the main characters music talent was impressive, and it really supported the story. A must read for people who like stanza book, and many others who don't!
Mar 09, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. The poetry effortlessly told Cassie's story. What you do if you were stuck in between worlds? never to rest until your death was solved? Wonderful yet grim tale of a girl who wants to move on. This is the first book I have read by Connor but I am very impressed. Anyone who likes poetry should give this book a go.
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
After being murdered by a classmate, young Cassie becomes stuck in a realm between the living and the dead, thus turning to others in the same predicament for guidance, Cassie learns that she will have to face her past and, despite her reservations, must finish all unresolved issues with the living in order to move forward on her journey into the afterlife.
Jun 06, 2011 A*Writer*in*Time rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Teens and Adults
Shelves: swap, own
This book was fun to read in its lyrical format. While the subject is sad and scary real at times it was a quick read. Tis book could serve as a precautionary tale of beware you never really know someone. I look forward to reading more in this format. From this author.
Nov 17, 2011 Kaylani rated it really liked it
I loved the poetic aspect of the book. The way in which it was written pushed the story and added to the emotion and greatness of it. It was a very quick read. And although I sometimes wish it would have been longer, it was good, memorable, and a book I would reccomend.
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From the author's website:

My life began suddenly (you can even ask my mother) in an antique farmhouse outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was born right on the family room floor ~ no time to get to the hospital! I swear, I’ve been in a hurry ever since.

When I was in fourth grade we moved to a neighborhood full of kids outside of Schenectady, New York. My Dad worked for a company that sold some of the fi
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