Between the Lines- Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer


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.

Delilah has always lived in a world where she feels like the odd one out. She’s clumsy, unpopular and forgettable. Delilah would much rather lose herself in books, specifically a children’s fairy tale, something that worries her mother very much. She has read this specific fairy tale hundreds of times. She has all of the words memorized, so she’s startled one day when she realizes that something is in the book that doesn’t belong.

After much investigation, Delilah soon realizes that there’s way more to a book than meets the eye. Who really knows what goes on behind a book when the it’s closed? Do the characters really exist? Delilah finds out that they do exist, and soon she is talking to the main character in the fairy tale, Oliver. Together, Delilah and Oliver do everything in their power to set him free from the story he’s been placed in.

I have never read anything by Jodi Picoult. I honestly was not sure what she typically writes, so I didn’t really know what to compare this book to. I was initially intrigued by the story line because who doesn’t want to know what goes on in a book once you set it down? It’s something I have thought of in the past, and I found it so cool that it was being brought to light in this book.

One thing I loved about this story was the pictures. They were GORGEOUS! I literally could have gotten rid of all of the words, replaced them with full size pictures on each page, and been properly entertained. The artists who worked on this book along with Jodi Picoult are seriously amazing.

I’m still reeling from the fact that this book is considered as a young adult novel because it’s not. This book is 100% a middle grade novel. While reading this book, I often found myself telling others that I could have seen myself reading this book in the fourth or fifth grade. There were no challenging words, there were pictures on each page, and it was simply a book for young children. I later found out that Jodi Picoult writes adult novels. I quickly realized that I’ve watched some of the movies based on her books, and I find it necessary to tell Picoult fans that this book is nothing like what she would normally write.

As sweet as I think it is that Jodi Picoult worked on this book with her daughter, Samantha Van Leer, I don’t think it was her best decision ever.  I could often tell when Samantha was writing, which wasn’t a good thing. Some people have told me that this will be a great career boost for Samantha. I agree, but based on what I’ve read, Samantha would do better at writing books for elementary and middle grade students. She could shock me and create a brilliant novel, but I’ve only seen her work this one time.

Overall, I was not too impressed with this book. I found it to be way below my reading level, and I could not stand either of the main characters. I do believe that this book will appeal to younger children and teenagers. I also thing this would be a great story for parents to read with and to their children.

Pages: 358

Publication Date: July 26, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rating: [rating: 2]


Teaser Quote: “JUST SO YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY SAY “ONCE UPON a time”… they’re lying.
It’s not once upon a time.  It’s not even twice upon a time.  It’s hundreds of times, over and over, every time someone opens up the pages of this dusty old book. “