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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer

PUBLISHER:  Emily Bestler Books/Atria/Simon Pulse
FORMAT: Hardcover, 358 pages
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult
ISBN: 9781451635751
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult and her teenage daughter present their first-ever novel for teens, filled with romance, adventure, and humor.

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.


I received this Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

Between the Lines is a sweet story about a teenage girl who is looking for her prince, and she finds him in a fairy tale – literally!

Delilah McPhee is a 15 year-old teenager, who comes from a broken home. Her parents are divorced, and she feels abandoned by her father who has since remarried and started a family with his new wife. Delilah’s always had a thing for fairy tales, and she and her mother often watch Disney movies together. There is one particular book, a fairy tale, which brings Delilah great comfort. She has read it so many times that she knows the book by heart.

One day, Delilah notices something different about one of the book’s illustrations – something that wasn’t there before. Then, she actually sees one of the characters in the story move on the page! When she hears the prince in the book speaking to her, Delilah thinks that she is imagining it but it is actually true! Delilah is determined to find a way to bring Prince Oliver from the book into her world.

Meanwhile, Delilah’s mom is growing ever-more concerned about her daughter’s obsession with this fairy tale. She insists that Delilah needs psychological help. The only way to prove that she isn’t really crazy is to prove that Oliver is real, but how can she do that? No one else seems to be able to hear him.

Between the Lines is told from the alternating points of view of Delilah and Oliver. In Oliver’s chapters, we find out what happens “behind-the-scenes” when the book isn’t being read and how the characters within the story go about their every-day lives. In addition, there are chapters for different pages of the storybook which tell us about the actual fairy tale. To differentiate the different parts of the story, a different font is used and the names of the chapters are changed to either “Delilah” or “Oliver” or “Page X” with “X” being a scene from the fairy tale. 

Picoult co-wrote the book with her daughter, van Leer. It is a shame that I am not familiar with Picoult’s work because I’d love to know what parts are Picoult’s and which ones are van Leer’s. Regardless, I really enjoyed their literary style. I thought the book was very creatively written, and I immediately felt a connection with Delilah. She is a very likeable and relatable protagonist.

Some memorable quotes from the book:

“No one ever asks a kid for her opinion, but it seems to me that growing up means you stop hoping for the best, and start expecting the worst. So how do you tell an adult that maybe everything wrong in the world stems from the fact that she's stopped believing the impossible can happen?” ~ Delilah
“He understood, in the crystalline instant, that courage wasn't something you were bequeathed at birth, and it wasn't a lack of fright. It was overcoming your fear, because the ones you love mattered more.” ~ Oliver

I have a number of other Picoult books on my bookshelves, which I just haven’t had a chance to read yet. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her work!


  1. Jodi Picoult's books are usually very sad. Very good, but very sad. I really liked this take on book obsession. It was a story for anyone who ever wished they could live in a book!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. Hi, Kate. Thanks for warning me about Picoult's tendency to write tear-jerkers. I will make sure I wear waterproof mascara when I listen!!

  2. Ahh, this is sitting on my shelf! I'm glad you liked it, Darlene. :) I've got most of Picoult's books, and I think I've read around 7 - I've loved them all. My Sister's Keeper and House Rules are probably my favorites. Great review!

    1. Thanks, Randi! I keep hearing how wonderful Picoult's books are, and I am anxious to read more of them!

  3. Ooh, this sounds so good. Thanks for the review.

    1. My pleasure, Natalie! I think this book would make a great movie!


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