Monday, February 18, 2013

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

Between the LinesTitle: Between the Lines
Author:  Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Published: June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 358 pages
Source: Library
Read: October 22-26, 2012
In  A Few Words: Sweet, creative story
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Melissa's Musings:

As some of you may know, I'm a big Jodi Picoult fan. I have read several of her books. This one was a lot different than her usual fare, and we have her daughter to thank for that. 

Instead of court battles and medical and family dramas, we're presented with a modern day fairy tale of sorts. Delilah and Oliver are both kids who've grown up without their dads, and that's part of the reason why she's so drawn to this fairy tale. She feels that she can relate to Oliver through that shared fact.

That's what we all look for in books, I think. We're constantly looking for ways to relate to the characters. There are certain characters that we like over others, because we feel a sort of kinship with them through shared experiences. You know how people are always talking about having book boyfriends/girlfriends? I think the opposite is true here. It's almost like Oliver has fallen in love with Delilah, so he has a  "reader girlfriend"

It's very sweet to see how much he cares for her, and all the different lengths that he's willing to go through to be with her. At one point in the story, Oliver writes Delilah into his world. While she does enjoy being with him, she learns an important lesson when she realizes just how much she misses her mom: You never know what you've got til it's gone. 

There are also more interesting methods of integration of life lessons into the story. For example, Socks, Olivers' trusty steed in the fairy tale seems to have body image issues, always thinking that he's fat or talking about low hay carb diets. It was a very unique way of incorporating real life issues into a story.

One thing I didn't really care for was that some of the details were very exaggerated, like the fact that in the beginning of the story Oliver claims to have spent his days learning 17 languages. A few languages, I would have believed, but 17 is just too many, even for a fairy tale character.

I enjoyed all the little details put into this book like the small drawings on the pages, and the different color fonts to differentiate between characters in the story. I haven't read any stories written by multiple authors in a while, so it was nice to read this story. In the introduction it's noted that they took turns writing lines, but I wonder just how much of Van Leer's contributions were polished by Picoult and/or editors.

Overall, I would recommend this story to anyone who's looking for a nice read, and of course to all Jodi Picoult fans.


Ashna Banga said...

Oh! I actually planned to read a few of Jodi Picoult's books. This one sounds interesting! I'll pick this one up! Liked the review :)

kimbacaffeinate said...

I really enjoyed her book House Rules, and my daughter loved this..not real sure how I feel about the author as a person though. Awesome review!