Review: Jodi Picoult’s Between the Lines

between the linesTitle: Between the Lines
Series: Between the Lines
Author: Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Genre: 
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 26th, 2012
Pages: 
353
Publisher:
Simon Pulse Simon Schuster
Rating: 

blue3.5

Delilah is kind of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library reading a book, one book in particular actually. Between the Lines is a one-of-a-kind fairytale.  The story’s Prince  is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day, he actually does speak to her. Turns out, he’s more than just a story book prince. That’s just a role, and the moment the book shuts it stops  and he’s left feeling trapped and restless. He wants out of the book and Delilah is just the girl to help him.

This is a fluffy, light, refreshing fairytale. On that note, it definitely feels a little bit younger than young adult. Yes, it does have a high school protagonist and everything, but the writing style, tone and content feel younger.

I think this is partially because of the fairytale aspect. I don’t mean the fact that this fairytale is the central point of the book, but the chapters that are the actual fairytale. When I started the book I thought it was cute as like a first chapter with the illustration and everything, but the further I got into the book the more annoyed I got when those chapters popped up. I just wanted the real story, plus I felt like I knew enough of the plot of the fairytale from Delilah and Oliver’s perspectives.

Yes, this book is duel point-of-view. There are chapters from Delilah’s perspective, she’s the reader. And there were chapters from Oliver’s perspective, he’s the prince in the fairytale.

“THE ACT OF READING IS A PARTNERSHIP. THE AUTHOR BUILDS A HOUSE, BUT THE READER MAKES IT A HOME.”

Delilah as a character felt a little typical unpopular teen to me. She’s klutzy and has made enemies with the popular crowd by constantly accidentally injuring them in gym class. Her best friend is that archetypal “alternative” girl who doesn’t’ care what the cheerleaders and football players say. I felt really bad for Delilah’s mom, who while overly concerned, is also just being a concerned parent. Delilah is a bit too wrapped up in her world (or the world of the book) to get this though.

The one aspect I really loved about her was her love for reading and connection with the story. Now that’s something I can relate to. That’s the reason, while despite finding all those other things very flat, I enjoyed this book. Because as soon as you get Delilah away from high school and talking to Oliver the story comes alive. The moments between them are truly precious.

Now, Oliver. I really enjoyed him and his perspective in this book. It was interesting getting to see a book more as a play, and when it’s closed the characters are off-stage but when it’s open they’re on and playing a role. Oliver is charming, sweet, and everything a prince should be. That’s the one little problem I had with him though. While in the actual fairytale Oliver has the flaw of not being brave (something he makes up for with his wit), Oliver in “real life” doesn’t really have a flaw.

He’s only relatable in the sense that we’ve all had points in our lives I believe that we wished our life was different, that we were somewhere or someone else.

“He’s not your typical prince, more like a square peg in a round hole, kind of like me. He’s the sort of guy who wouldn’t mind reading side by side on a date.”

So throughout the book, Delilah helps Oliver try to get out of the fairytale. I thought this was super interesting and these were possibly my favorite scenes just because of all the hope and emotion felt between the two. Plus, it’s cool to think how you’d actually get a character out of the book if you could.

I will say, the ending confused me a little bit. Trying not to spoil anything, but I wasn’t a hundred percent sold.

Just style-wise, I wasn’t a huge fan of or sure of the need to change fonts and colors when the point-of-view changes. These point-of-view switches happen based on chapter, and the character’s name is printed at the top of the page. So the change was obvious with out a weird color, plus the duel POV is something pretty common and understood in YA.

All in all, this was a truly magical book. It reminded me of some of my favorite stories growing up. I definitely suggest picking it up if you’re looking for something to bring lightness and joy. Between the Lines is available on Amazon and you can find the author at jodipicoult.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!

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