Friday, 6 July 2012

Between the Lines


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult, Samantha Van Leer
Hardback, 288 pages


Expected Publication: July 5th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton

My shelves: arc-or-review, books-i-own, childrens, fairy-tales,
magical-realism, read-in-2012, to-be-reviewed, young-adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
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.



My thanks go to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

As you all (should) know by now, I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, she is certainly one of my favourite authors. You should also know that I absolutely adore books that are for 'Young Adults'. It won't come as much of a surprise that I was absolutely desperate to have this book in my hands! If that wasn't enough to grab my interest, the storyline certainly did. I am sure that a lot of you will be persuaded to pick this book up due to the plot. 


Essentially, this book is about a girl, Delilah, who falls in love with a character in one of her favourite books, a fairytale named 'Between the Lines'. I'm sure that a lot of us feel strong connections with certain books, and Delilah is the same. However, Delilah later realises that she has more of a connection than most do with this story - she can actually communicate with one of the characters inside - Prince Oliver (who is gorgeous, if the fantastic illustrations are anything to go by). This may sound absolutely amazing, and to an extent it is for both Delilah and Oliver, but it also causes several issues. Oliver realises that he truly doesn't want to be stuck in the same story for the rest of his life, and Delilah's mother and best friend get concerned that she's so attached to a 'childish' book. Oliver is determined to escape from the book that has him bound, and Delilah is willing to try anything to help him so that they can be together. I commend Picoult and her daughter, Van Leer, for the storyline.


I did enjoy the format of the book. I thought that the fairytale itself was interesting enough and it was very easy to get completely absorbed in it. I thought that the beginning was the most interesting part of the fairytale. The rest of the fairytale was scattered throughout the book at starts of chapters (that were then split into points of view by both Delilah and Oliver) - I thought that this was a good idea and can understand why it was written that way, but for me, it didn't seem as magical as it could have been. It certainly wasn't poor, but having the story fragmented lost some of its effectiveness. I did however, love hearing about the 'book-world' when reading Oliver's point of view. There is a really good, fun sense of humour that a lot of things (books, cinema, etc) lack at the moment. It's good, clean fun. I realise that this is aimed at Young Adults as they probably will appreciate it more, but there's no reason why younger children (around 9+) wouldn't enjoy this alongside teens and adults.


I really loved the introduction of the characters that we met towards the end of the book, particularly Edgar. Whilst I though that the ending was quite convenient, I also found it to be interesting and it was one of the best parts of the story for me. It could have been drawn out more and I wish it was, it seemed a little rushed and I'd have liked to know more about Edgar and his mother, but it was still enjoyable.


I really love the fact that Picoult decided to write this book with her daughter. It's a refreshing and more upbeat story than Picoult usually tends to write - it's clear that it wasn't only her that had input. Whilst there were a few flaws in this book, for the most part it was really enjoyable. It was very interesting to see Picoult's experienced writing combined with her daughters creativity, and I hope that there's more where that came from. I really do hope that this isn't just a one-off and that they will both write more books together, targeted at the YA market, getting even better as they go along. An enjoyable book for all of the family.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds pretty good, but I'm reluctant to read this author since... well, her books always make me cry.

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  2. Writing it with her daughter may be different. Agree about the sad part so hopefully this will be different.

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  3. I've just reviewed this, and my thoughts are similar to yours. I loved it too but the ending was a bit rushed for me and I just didn't really understand it because of that.

    Fab review, Stephanie <3

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  4. Beautiful blog. great review.
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  5. My mom loves Jodi Picoult, and I read an interview of the authors in "Book Page." Thanks for reviewing it; I am intrigued.

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  6. I love Jodi Picoult too, and have been hearing lots of great things about this story. Thanks for the great review!

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  7. I've never read anything by Jodi Picoult before but I'm quite looking forward to this one now.

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  8. I'm very excited to read this one. I've been hearing marvelous reviews about it, and I've heard that the drawings are spectacular! I'm glad to know that you liked it. Thanks for the great review!

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  9. This sounds really good, I feel like I'm missing out by not reading any Jodi Picoult books. Fantastic review! :) xx

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  10. I bought this yesterday and cannot wait to read it. Fantastic review! made me want to read it right now lol. I have a few other Jodi Picoult books but i haven't read them yet- they are on the TBR pile which is MASSIVE! Thanks for sharing :) x

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