Monday, June 11, 2012

Between the Lines

Between the Lines, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer.

Real fairy tales are not for the fainthearted. Children get eaten by witches and chased by wolves; women fall into comas and are tortured by evil relatives. Somehow all that pain and suffering is worthwhile, though, when it leads to the ending: happily ever after. Suddenly it no longer matters if you got a B- on your midterm in French or you're the only girl who doesn't have a date for the spring formal. Happily ever after trumps everything.

But what if
ever after could change?

This novel has to be one of the craziest I've ever read, but it was also very good. Although it was written by Jodi Picoult, this is not her typical work; she wrote it with her high school-aged daughter, Samantha Van Leer, and it's more Y.A. (Young Adult) fiction than what Jodi usually writes. It's about a girl, Delilah, who finds an old fairy tale book in her school library one day. She's 15 and knows that she's too old for fairy tales - that is, until one of the illustrations on the page, Prince Oliver, actually starts talking to her. She then finds out that each time the book is opened, and the characters see they have a Reader, they go through the motions of the story in the book - and when it's closed, they go back to their "normal lives." It's almost like a play, of sorts, but Oliver desperately wants to get OUT of the book, and finally get to meet Delilah "in person."

If the characters in a book exist beyond the pages in it ... that is definitely a mindbender. After reading this book I started thinking about all the other books I had read recently, and what the "secret lives" of those characters would be ... it's almost too much to think about! In this book, in the fairy tale, one of the evil characters is actually quite nice and likes collecting butterflies; Oliver is definitely not in love with Seraphima, the princess he rescues each time, though unfortunately she is oblivious to that; and his dog, Frump, actually used to be a human boy, but was transformed into a dog because of a curse.

The novel is written in three alternating chapters, with different-colored font as well - black font is for the fairy tale as it was written, blue font is for Oliver's chapters, and green font is for Delilah's chapters, which I thought was interesting since books - at least Y.A. and adult books - are rarely written in colorful fonts like that. The ending is a bit crazy too, but since this book definitely makes you utilize "suspension of disbelief," it was an apropos ending for the story.

Jodi Picoult will be going on tour in the U.S. from June 26 to July 2; click here to see if she'll be in your city. Between the Lines will be in stores on June 26th.

4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


  1. OOh this one sounds really good! I read Jodi's "My Sister's Keeper" and bawled my way through; however, I heard from friends a couple of her other books weren't as good. But this one sounds super cute, I hope to get to it eventually! :)

  2. This one was WAY different than her normal stuff - if she wasn't listed as one of the authors, I would not have known it was by her, lol. But it was also very good, and I think based on the books you (and I, mostly, lol) usually read, you would like it. It's out June 26th. :)

  3. Great I will definitely check it out! :)


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