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A Crack in the Line (Aldous Lexicon #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,342 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
What if someone else was living your life?

You are sixteen. You live with your father in a big Victorian house on the outskirts of London. Your mother is dead, killed in a train crash two years ago. It is snowing. The snow is falling on the house and the wide yard and the gnarled old tree that everyone calls the Family Tree. It makes you restless. You reach out your hands t

Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 23rd 2005 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 12, 2013 added it
Alaric and Naia Underwood both live in an old Victorian house in a small village. They both have dark hair and the same nose and the same parents. They even have the same bedroom. But Alaric and Naia have never met; they don’t even live in the same world. Things have been difficult for Alaric since his mother died in a train accident two years ago, after being given a fifty/fifty chance of survival. When Alaric travels to an alternate timeline, he meets Naia, who is the female version of himself ...more
Alaric lives with his father in their old Victorian by the river Ouse in England. His mother was injured in a train accident and was given a 50/50 chance of surviving. In Alaric's reality, she did not. One day Alaric touches a piece of artwork made by his mother, a tiny oak model of his house, and finds himself looking at a girl so much like him that she could have been his sister. It becomes clear pretty quickly that the girl, Naia, is *him* (if he'd been born female), that the house is not qui ...more
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes boring books.
A crack in the line is a story about to children- Alaric and Naia who are similar in every way. Their houses are identical, their rooms face the same direction, and they even live on the same road- yet they've never met. All is fine until they finally do meet- and when they do, they learn something that has a catastrophic affect on them.
A crack in the line was a book that had eluded me time and time again. The start is extremely slow, and quite frankly boring. I find the plot to be quite dull,
Woodbury Public Library
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Woodbury Public Library by: WPL YA Book Discussion
Aggregate review from young adult book discussion:

Interesting but confusing!

It was very hard to keep track of what was going on and which "world" everyone was in. Sometimes the descriptions of the houses and their furnishings was a little boring - who cares about wallpaper?! - but overall the story moves pretty quickly.

The ending definitely leaves the reader knowing there is more to the story. Not sure if we would recommend to others.

We really wish this book was combined into one with the ot
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Dang i wish this book would continue it leaves you wanting more even though nothing more can be said. It deals with alternate realitys and what happens if things happend the other way instead of how things are now. Like a fifty fifty on life basicly i dont know i guse you will have to read it to get it.
Hafsah Faizal
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Alaric and Naia are closer than siblings - even closer than twins. They are two versions of the same person, living in two, alternate dimensions, and when their lives are suddenly and inexplicably brought together by a carved model known as Lexie's Folly, they are forced to rethink everything they know about the universe, their families, and themselves.

Alaric's mother, Alex Underwood, was involved in a terrible train crash when he was fourteen. She had a fifty-fifty chance of dying. She died. N
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who are smart
Recommended to cat.r.piller by: my mom
Shelves: very-good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Yup, needed the first book to understand the second one and the second one was good enough to get the first and third books. Unfortunately, when I called my local B&N to see if they had it, I was told that "It was published in 2005, it's out of print." Thank goodness for eReaders. I was actually able to get the trilogy in one entire download, so I did that, rather than get the eBooks of 1 and 3 and have the actual book for number 2. Saves on space on my shelves at least. :)

So far the book is
Tess Sullivan
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Well written, intriguing and very philosophical. It makes you ponder realities and situations you may never have if not provoked. And though I enjoyed it, I feel it could have been a little more satisfying as to the background of these remarkable occurrences. This may just be my never faltering curiosity and sense of closure, but more of a description as to the origin and fate of "Aldous Underwood" would have been greatly appreciated. It may have not had an outstandingly original moral (but then ...more
S.R. Wemyss
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Things happen that no one's prepared for when there's a 50/50 chance...
Jessica Thompson
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. The second one gets better.
I found this book to be really hard to follow and rather boring. No matter how many times I tried to sit and read it, it never caught my attention.
Kathryn Wuerker
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I skimmed the end as this book didn't pull me in. I think the ideas are interesting and can't wait until my 7th grade group discuss it. I do the love relationship between Alaric and his aunt.
Hannah Philpott
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting book, the letter in the middle of the book is a section I find myself re-reading often.
Anne Hamilton
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I read the second book in this series Small Eternities first by accident but I don't think it really spoiled my appetite for this one. I'm not sure that either book is as original and innovative as the blurb on the back cover would have me believe. Still I rate Small Eternities as one of the most memorable books I have ever read but A Crack in the Line is a worthy precursor.

Alaric Underwood and Naia Underwood live in the same house in parallel universes - they are in fact, counterparts of each o
Avan Monette
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Alaric is a sixteen-year-old boy who lives on the outskirts of London in a Victorian-styled house. His mother previously died in a train crash two years ago, and his life has all but completely fallen apart. The house is in shambles. The air is suffocating. He’s furious because his father is bringing home a new woman, and he can’t help but scoff at the fact that it feels like he’s replacing his mother. He is bitter. He is cold. But the most he can do is sulk. He goes to the River Room. It was hi ...more
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile Level: 870L

Pages: 323 pages

Alaric Underwood lives in a sprawling manor named Withern Rise that has been occupied by Underwoods for centuries. Naia Underwood lives in a sprawling manor named Withern Rise that also has been occupied by Underwoods for centuries. Alaric is 16 years old, with dark hair, Naia, also 16 years old with dark hair. The two aren't twins or even siblings but are living the same life with slight differences. Alaric lost his mother two years ago in a terrible t
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it
It was actually the third book in the Withern Rise trilogy that caught my attention. However, since the story seemed complicated, I mused it was best to start at the beginging, so that's what I did, with A Crack in the Line.

The story is essentially about one person really. Or rather what one person had the potential of becoming. Alaric a 16 yr old boy and Naia a 16 yr old girl. They have the same parents, same house, same room, done most of the same things at the exact same time and have never m
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
A Crack in the Line is about Naia and Alaric who have lived the same lives but they have never met until one day Alaric walks into Naias home claiming it's his. Then there whole lives changed because of that one day and the one object Lexi's Folly. They start finding the weirdest things their houses are the same and the person who built there house is the same man and he was the one who had to do with everything. Both of their mothers lives were taken during a tragic accident on a train but they ...more
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy/sci-fi YA, "what if" stories
Recommended to Susan by: Helen
Shelves: young-adult, 2010read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, series
Alaric lives in the crumbling Withern Rise house with his widowed father. Nothing has been the same since his mother's death in a train accident two years ago. Now his dad is off helping his girlfriend get ready to move in with them, and his crazy Aunt Liney is there to keep an eye on him. Miserable, he touches a carving his mother made of the house from wood from the family tree years ago and finds himself transported to a parallel universe where a girl, Naia, is living his life--only with thei ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
"A Crack in the Line" is about a boy named Alaric whose life has been pretty messed up since the death of his mother in a train crash. His once lovely home is now something you would see in a third-world country, and better yet, he and his father do not get along. There is also a girl in the story named Naia who has already forgotten about the accident that ALMOST killed her mother. Naia's life is going pretty well and she lives in a beautiful home that resembles Alaric's... This is because Naia ...more
Adam Smith
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two years after the tragic death of his mother Alaric Underwood's life is bleak. Any day now his father will return with his new girlfriend and life will go on like Alex Underwood never existed. Alaric longs to see his mother just one more time, to hear her voice, to see her face, to know she still exists, but when he touches the folly his mother made something strange happens. Suddenly Alaric finds himself in a house that is not his own. A house belonging to a girl named Naia. A girl whose life ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very intriguing. Alaric and Naia are different versions of the same person, living in side-by-side alternate realities. The differences in their lives are from events where the outcome has a 50% chance of going either way. A baby being born a boy or a girl. Someone in an accident living or dying. Really great book. I especially loved the end where it almost was like a choose-your-own-adventure. The ending was written, then an alternate ending was given because of a different outcome from a speci ...more
Alice B.
Nov 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was really......just.....odd. That's really the only word I can think to describe it. Two teenagers, Naia and Alaric, live in parallel universes in each others houses. They have the same parents (in a way), and their lifes revolve around a single turning point. Whenever there is a 50-50 chance about something, one gets get one outcome and the other gets the other. For example, Naia is a girl, and Alaric is a boy, because it was a 50-50 chance. They are able to go to each others houses ...more
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who liked Sliding Doors or other exercises in multiple dimensions
Recommended to Jennifer by: No one (just picked it up from the Library)
Shelves: read-2011
An interesting exercise in alternate universes . . . this book is about Alaric and Naia, who are essentially the same person but in different realities. In addition to the gender difference between them, there are are other differences. In Alaric's world, his mother died in a train accident two years before but in Naia's world, her mother survived. With the help of a craft project created by their mothers and some mysterious property of their old family estate (Withern Rise), Alaric and Naia fin ...more
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
From School Library Journal

"Alaric and Naia, both 16, have nearly identical lives in parallel worlds. Their parents, their house, and their circumstances are the same, with one major difference. Alaric's mother was killed in a train wreck, while Naia's mother survived. This story of alternate realities raises questions about how one's life might be changed forever by a certain turn of events. Alaric's home is dreary, dirty, and joyless and he misses his mother terribly. Naia lives in a world of
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted on my blog, The Reading Hammock (

This is the type of book that I can reread thousands of times and still never tire of. As soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The beginning was slightly confusing because the author shifts between the two major characters and their respective realities. However, my initial confusion soon turned into a deeper interest in the story and my discovery of its true originality. At the end of the
Puja Patel
May 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book is basically about a boy who discovers he can travel to an alternate reality in which he was born a girl and his mother did not die in a tragic accident. The plot was initially very interesting and it seemed to have a lot of promise. As I read on, the transitions between his world and the alternate reality seemed slightly misplaced and without purpose. It took a while for me to read, mostly because of the scattered style of the writing. I'm not sure what the author intended, but to me, ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Boy finds girl version of himself - YA? [s] 4 34 Nov 30, 2016 11:35AM  
The Storyworld Project Discussion 12 5 Mar 01, 2016 08:33AM  
There's a newly revised edition of the trilogy... 1 6 Mar 07, 2012 05:36PM  
  • Claws
  • The Last Universe
  • Broken Universe (Universe, #2)
  • Paths to Otherwhere
  • Loups-Garous
  • Pilgrim of the Sky
  • The Diary of Pelly D
  • Rewind (Replica: The Plague Trilogy I)
  • Grimbold's Other World
  • The Life History of a Star
  • Ginger High
  • Mirror Dreams
  • Blood Brothers
  • The Hidden World
  • Silent Echoes
  • Shadowland (Brotherhood of the Conch, #3)

Other Books in the Series

Aldous Lexicon (3 books)
  • Small Eternities (Withern Rise, #2)
  • The Underwood See (Withern Rise, #3)

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