By Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Published by Emily Bestler Books/Atria/Simon Pulse
Read on PulseIt
"What happens when happily ever after…isn’t? Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah. And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom. Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale." - Goodreads
Between the Lines is a fun, endearing, original story that had me begging to read it. Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha Van Leer certainly crafted a lovely story within a story that's in a different story (you still following?).
Delilah is somewhat of an outcast and fell into the mold of 'good girl who's smart but isn't popular'. She is a predictable character and her feelings will definitely resonate well with most girls. I didn't quite connect with her on a deep level, I feel like there was something missing but I was able to enjoy reading through her point of view. Oliver -as to be expected- is a great fairytale hero complete with charm and good looks. He really shows his teenage colours though; his feelings towards what he wants to do with his life and how he doesn't want to be stuck in the book sound greatly like angst of a teenager. Together, they made a very cute pair and it made me smile. I guess their personalities fell just a little flat for me.
The other characters, especially from the fairy tale, were very interesting to read about. I really enjoyed how each had their own backstory - personalities completely different to those of the 'characters' they played in the book Delilah was reading. Frump, Oliver's BFF, was one of my favourites because of his loyalty to Oliver and seriously, I loved that he was a hound.
What really made Between the Lines special for me was the originality for the plot. I think it is brilliant. How everything came together at the end was well thought out. The whole concept is explained OK, I wish it would have been a little more clearer at the beginning. I loved how the authors made the characters go through many challenges to find the answer; it allowed the characters to grow. The illustrations that are in the book are simply gorgeous and I loved them. It was nice that the fairy tale was placed in between Delilah's/Oliver's story and I really enjoyed the alternating POV's. The ending, I like but wish it would have been expanded more... maybe with an epilogue? Something that explained how exactly Delilah and Oliver's relationship worked out.
Overall, I'd recommend this to fairy tale, romance, and strong-plot lovers........ although, the characters and writing would be suited for pre-teens too. I enjoyed it (the plot development was great) and it was a nice summer read!
I can't remember when I first realized that life, as I knew it, wasn't real. That this role I perform over and over was just that - a role. And in order for me to play it, there had to be another party involved - namely one of those large, round, flat faces that blurred the sky above us every time the story began.
As the girl leans closer, the sky darkens above us. "How strange," she murmurs.
Her finger comes down, pushing at the edges of our world, bending the scenery even as we stand in it. I draw in my breath, thinking she is going to trap me, but instead, she touches the very spot where the chessboard is etched onto the sand.
"That," she says, "was never here before."