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(The Arcadia Project #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,294 ratings  ·  824 reviews
A year ago Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she's sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.

For her first assignment, Millie is
Paperback, 390 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Saga Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  4,294 ratings  ·  824 reviews

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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I've been book funky . . . for like . . . WEEKS. I've binge-watched: Gotham , The Flash , and the first three seasons of Suits . I've decimated my Secret Garden coloring book.

And on the day I read BORDERLINE by Mishell Baker, I tried to read four different books. FOUR. This is the only one that stuck.

Millicent (Millie) Roper is a most unlikely urban fantasy heroine.

She has two prosthetic legs. And I'm not talking futuristic bionic limbs that give
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
The rating? We start at 5 stars:
+1 star: I totally love the setting with all the Echo thing and norium and turning into wizards and... Lovely!
+1 star: A tortured heroine (Ironbones!) going through the phase of learning to live in the aftermath of her suicide attempt, while struggling with bipolar disorder and prostetic legs and deep scarring about everywhere. Gosh!
+1 star: lovely techniques Millie uses throughout the book to keep her sanity in check.
+1 star: quirky dialogues, multidimentional se
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an unexpectedly good Urban Fantasy novel with Fae and a differently-damaged protagonist that sets it apart from most by dealing with mental illness.

What? Mental illness? What kind? BORDERLINE Personality Disorder. :) Just think unstable and you've pretty much got it. It makes for hell on all her personal relationships, her professional relationships, and to make things worse, her suicide attempt took her legs from her.

Woah. She's got problems. It should make for some rather interesting
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fairly ordinary urban fantasy plot and setting made stellar by a brilliant protagonist and a fascinating cast.

This is basically Men in Black with Fey and magic instead of aliens, which sounds cool but it's been done before. What takes it into brilliance territory is Millicent Roper, a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder who is recovering from an extremely serious suicide attempt that's left her a double amputee, physically scarred and with some brain damage on top of her existing BPD.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like Faeries and movie stars

One of my friends once called me 'The Anti-Drama.' It was one of those moments of startling clarity, when one thinks, 'wow; that could be the truest thing I've heard.' I've found myself shying away from people that seem to enjoy confrontations, outbursts, reversals, confessions, and living life on a roller-coaster of emotion. All of this is to explain that it isn't Mishell Baker's book as much as it is her protagonist, Millie, of the borderline personality disorder and recent suicide attempt, th
4.5ish stars.

This is a 400-page book that feels short. I honestly could have read 100 more pages and not complained. I was that into this. The setting, plot, sequence of events are pretty straightforward and not particularly deep. But I couldn't put it down.

The Hollywood aspect of the story is glitzy and fun. The connections to real-world stars and savants and the alternate reality sources of their inspiration through fey Echoes is pretty awesome.

"So we can get inspiration from fey and vice
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m so glad I finally got the chance to read Borderline. I admit I haven’t been trying out a lot of new urban fantasy lately, since after a while so many of the common themes start to run together until I can’t keep the different stories straight in my head anymore. Borderline, though, is special. Very special. It’s completely invigorating and just what I needed to rekindle my excitement for the genre.

The story, which I or
fulfilling book riot's 2020 read harder challenge task #21: Read a book with a main character or protagonist with a disability (fiction or non) <--- one day too late, but who's counting?

put more like this in front of me, and i could easily become an urban fantasy fan.

review to come.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Updated 2/16/19

Bumping up to 4 stars.

Is it possible I am a little less shallow, because my opinion on not-enough-romance completely changed? Plus, why didn’t I mention how great the concept of Echo (a fairy soul mate) is? And how heartbreaking Millie’s situation is in that respect? Compensates greatly for the lack of smut.

Original review

3.5 stars

A solid urban fantasy novel. The fae lore is not entirely new here, but the characters are. MC is a double amputee with a border personality disorder,
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borderline is an amazing book in every way. While the story is fairly straightforward, Mishell Baker has made it something special in the telling.

Borderline is fillied with deeply flawed characters, but Baker lets them be who they are without any apologies and the story is that much richer for it. Her writing is fresh and visual and feels intensely personal throughout. This book is going on my favourites shelf for 2016; it is a clear standout.

Baker has established herself as a talent to watch an
K.J. Charles
Okay, this was an astonishing example of how diversity revolutionises genre. The story here is pretty standard urban fantasy: young woman introduced to magical world, meets ragtag gang of misfits, solves crime. It's perfectly good urban fantasy, well written and niftily handled, just nothing to set the world on fire. What makes this an astounding read is that the protagonist/narrator has borderline personality disorder, and this is not window dressing or treated lightly. It informs every aspect ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
My decision not to finish this Nebula Award nominated book has more to do with me and my reading preferences than the book itself. I actually really liked it in the first 50 pages. The writing is fine, and Mishell Baker has interesting characters and memorable settings (that house!)... but as soon as it got to the first mention of fey it was like my brain shut down. I try to like urban fantasy but just have a hard time connecting to it. I really like it in TV form but not books, so sue me. So if ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, own
So a queer double-amputee with borderline personality disorder walks into an urban fantasy novel about Hollywood and fairies...

Borderline, Mishell Baker's debut novel, begins with an awesome first line: "It was midmorning on a Monday when magic walked into my life wearing a beige Ann Taylor suit and sensible flats." It perfectly sets the tone for a neo-noirish urban fantasy narrated with endearing flair. We first meet Millicent Roper in a psychiatric center, recovering from a suicide attempt tha
Borderline is the first book in an urban fantasy trilogy following Millie, a bisexual amputee with borderline personality disorder who, at the beginning of this book, starts investigating the case of a missing Seelie noble.

I've read a lot of books with diverse casts, but even in them, disability is almost always an afterthought. Not here: Borderline has a mostly-disabled/mentally ill cast, with a heroine who is a wheelchair user (lost her legs in a suicide attempt) and side characters who are de
Dec 19, 2015 marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me
It's one of those books that I truly appreciate on a technical level, but fail to connect to on an emotional level. I can write a whole essay about the complexity of the characters, the originality of the plot, the beautiful description and detailed world-building and I definitely recommend Borderline to anyone who is looking for something unique! However, despite it's countless strengths, I kept finding myself looking at the number of minutes I still had left of the audiobook (the narrator was ...more
4.5 stars. I loved this fast-paced story of Millie Roper and how she gets involved with the Arcadia Project. Millie, with her borderline personality disorder and her missing legs thanks to a suicide attempt off a building, is often her own worst enemy, saying and doing things that push others away and leave herself bereft of support.
The Arcadia project and all the hints of the other world are fascinating, and I found the author's use of mental illness in the characters made for a fractious but i
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it

"From across the room, I’ll admit death looks like a real babe. But I’ve been close enough to see what’s under her makeup, and no thanks. Really.”

A few people whose opinion I value recommended this urban fantasy. So pleased I listened :O)

Baker first of all offers us a protagonist with a difference. Millie is truly fascinating and the main compelling element of the book. Having a character who is not only a double amputee but also suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (and other vario
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I don't have enough time to write a solid review, but this is book is one of those extremely fun ones that grabs you by the jugular and never lets go. Anchored by an incredible protagonist, the fairly ordinary urban fantasy story takes flight. (How's that for mixing metaphors?) ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

I discovered Borderline through some explosive rave reviews when it came out in March, and a lot of those reviews focused on how well Baker portrays mental illness and physical disability. I had never read an SFF book with a disabled protagonist before (I don't suppose Miles Vorkosigan counts? Probably not, though there are plenty of stories around his damaged body and his clone twin Mark's mental trauma).

So let me say first that I wish I had read Borderline much sooner than I did! Because it wa

Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Millie Millie Millie. Sharply written, fully realized Millie. Her voice, her vulnerability, her biting sarcasm. Alternatingly lovable and terrible, and often both simultaneously. Millie is the main strength and focus of this novel, and as much as this will definitely appeal generally to fans of urban fantasy, it will also find an audience with readers who simply love great character-driven books. The other Arcadia Project agents
Book Riot Community
I’ve always been a fan of books where a hidden world of fantasy lurks under normal city life, but the past few years I’ve had trouble finding ones that could surprise me. Borderline is the answer to my prayers. Millie was a promising young director and film student until a failed suicide attempt. A year later, she is a double amputee struggling to cope with her Borderline Personality Disorder. When a mysterious woman shows up offering a job and a new start, Millie takes the chance. The plot is d ...more
Sherwood Smith
Feb 10, 2017 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Mishell Baker lays the well-worn elements (the fey, or Seelie and Unseelie Courts) in palimpsest over Hollywood, managing to make them fresh again. It helps that her fey are not the sentimentalized, emotional sixteen year olds that I've read in too many previous stories. They are seriously weird, and one of them is very scary indeed.

Even more interesting when up against people with serious mental health issues, recruited into a secret organization to monitor an always volatile situation.

Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The nitty-gritty: A delightful blend of fantasy, the modern-day film industry, and quirky characters that will make you smile.

It was midmorning on a Monday when magic walked into my life wearing a beige Ann Taylor suit and sensible flats.

I’ve been salivating over this amazing cover for months now, and I was so excited to be able to read Mishell Baker’s debut. I thought I was going to get one type of story, but ultimately Borderline blew me away with its odd—but somehow workab

Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Millie has borderline personality disorder which means she has a pattern of unstable intense relationships where she fears abandonment, holds a distorted self-image, and is prone to extreme emotions and impulsiveness. So it is no surprise that after a failed affair she attempted suicide and lost a promising career as a film director. Now a double amputee survivor she has accepted her new reality and pursues a spot at the Arcadia Project working
Tudor Vlad
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The more I think about this book, the more obvious it is to me that it would be impossible for me to properly talk about it. I’m not a fan of urban fantasy, and to be fair, I can’t even tell why. It’s one of the thing that defies logic, like asking me why I don’t like yoghurt. I simply don’t like it. Which is why when I first set my eyes on Borderline, I knew that I should probably stop looking at it and move on to other books, but I couldn’t as the description had me intrigued.

It was one of the
Christina Pilkington
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Did the fact the story revolves around Hollywood and the film industry and I just happened to go to film school and take a trip out to Hollywood myself to peddle a screenplay make me enjoy this story even more than I would have otherwise?

Possibly. But I don't think so.

How many unique and absolutely fantastic things can I list about this book?

Hmmm...lets see...

Characters - When do you see a protagonist in a fantasy book who is handicapped? When do you see a protagonist who has a mental disorde
Oct 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
Recommended came from Mishell Baker Here's what she said about it:

"I'm not sure whether this will be to your taste, but I thought it was quite well done, and fairly unique in the genre. The story is set in an urban fantasy world with a superpowers theme sprinkled with mojo and a dollop of fae. The protagonist might be classified as an antihero were she more focused. Unfortunately, she suffers from borderline personality disorder, and is on the wrong end of a suicide attempt when we meet her. In
Valyssia Leigh
There truly isn't anything new under the sun as the proverb goes. The best an author can do is cherry pick complimentary tropes and combine them in engaging ways. This story is a fine example of that deftly done.

Moreover, this is an example of that recounted by an interesting, almost likable, severely dysfunctional, non-heroic, human protagonist with enough quirks to mire a dump truck. Millie isn't a super anything, except maybe self-sabotager. She does seem to have that down pat. But really, h
Lauren Stoolfire
Fantastic new novel - I believe that I will be recommending this to just about every urban fantasy fan I know! I was hooked on the world Baker has created from the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, conspiracies, Hollywood, and Millie, the tough lead who is physically disabled and has borderline personality disorder. Baker's diverse cast of characters really make this novel, but it just wouldn't be the same without Millie. ...more
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really fun, original and interesting take on Urban Fantasy.

I really fell in love with Millie as a first-person narrator. Her internal struggles really resonated with me, and I love that she never really apologized for who she was or how she acted. She tries to cope as best she can with her afflictions and is a truly engaging character.

All the characters, in fact, felt wonderfully created. Felt like I knew these people, could step into their shoes.

The end felt a little abrupt but I enjoyed t
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Urban Fantasy Afi...: April 2020 - Borderline 2 11 Apr 09, 2020 04:18PM  
Squabbling Dragons: Borderline: SPOILERS 14 22 Oct 29, 2017 04:57PM  
Squabbling Dragons: Borderline by Michelle Baker 12 19 Oct 19, 2017 05:36PM  
Squabbling Dragons: Borderline: SPOILER-FREE 4 10 Oct 19, 2017 05:35PM  

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Author of Nebula finalist/Tiptree Honor Book BORDERLINE. Repped by Russell Galen. Mother, language nerd, MH advocate, Guardian of Liberty.

Other books in the series

The Arcadia Project (3 books)
  • Phantom Pains (The Arcadia Project, #2)
  • Impostor Syndrome (The Arcadia Project, #3)

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