Behind the Story of Inside the Ten-Foot Line
Inside the Ten-Foot Line by Lori Scott broaches issues such as life goals, God’s leading, and relationships, but also deeper relevant subjects like eating disorders, grief, and physical abuse. All these themes grow together to create a riveting and profound narrative cloaked in a setting that’s relatable no matter who you are.
The book starts off with Loreli Mathews, a 10th grader who believes wholeheartedly that “volleyball is life.” Her only dream is to follow in her aunt’s footsteps and play volleyball in college, and she’s willing to sacrifice almost anything to get there. Throughout the story, her prayer of “show me what I need to do to succeed” brings her so much more than she bargained for and broadens her horizons to realize…
Sometimes God’s plan for a situation is you.
As her team continues to lose games, the coach brings up their biggest struggle: “campfire moments”. In volleyball, these are sets that end with the ball hitting the floor in the middle of a ring of frozen players. The coach challenges the girls that the only way to overcome these moments is for each to personally decide that she will never let the ball hit the floor.
Loreli takes this to heart and pushes herself inside and outside of practice to be the change that is needed in her team. Through her efforts, her team grows closer together and starts winning games again, and she gets close enough to one of her teammates, Gwen, to notice some classic signs of an eating disorder, which is only the surface of deeper problems.
As they spend more time together, Loreli manages to earn Gwen’s trust by keeping the secret, but prays for someone more qualified to help. After a winning game, Gwen begs Loreli for a ride home and Loreli agrees despite having planned to go celebrate with her new boyfriend and some of the team.
When they arrive at the house, Gwen finally confesses that her uncle, who lives with her and her mom, is physically abusive and had threatened to kill her. The uncle shows up as the two are talking and attempts to make good on his threat, but some quick thinking from Loreli puts some distance between them. They speed off towards a local nature trail to try to lose him in the woods where some miraculous timing and intervention saves the two girls despite a few panicked decisions and a face-off with the armed uncle.
As the scene transitions to more peaceful settings, we get to see the start of a healing transformation in Gwen as God worked in her life through Loreli. The story concludes with Loreli sharing her realizations with her boyfriend, Taylor, who throughout the story has been a positive influence on her – reminding her of important biblical truth, showing genuine support for her and her dreams, and displaying a wholesomeness largely missing from relationships in today’s media.
Though author tailors the intense situations in the story very well for the target of middle to high school ages, younger readers may find them confusing or frightening.
Loreli does succeed in the end, but she realizes that “it had everything and nothing to do with volleyball,” that God had placed her where He needed someone to mend relationships, heal broken hearts, and save a life.
I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical when I started reading. Wading into the world of volleyball as a non-athlete slowed me down a bit, but the real-life themes tied together with eternal truth shown through realistic characters blew me away.
Amanda Moyer lives in Pennsylvania where she works as an accountant. She has always had a love of young adult fiction and fantasy and enjoys writing and worldbuilding with her cousins.
Inside the Ten-Foot Line Giveaway
Leave a comment if you would like to win a copy of the book. Since it is not scheduled to be released until September 20, you will receive it in about a month. Giveaway ends on August 30.
Help Author Lori Scott
Publishers look at numbers. And one of the numbers they look at is how many copies of a book are pre-ordered before publication. You can buy a gift for one of your granddaughters now (or for yourself!) by pre-ordering Lori’s book on Amazon or from your favorite bookseller.