Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
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.
A romantic and charming story, this companion novel to Off the Page will make every reader believe in the fantastical power of fairy tales.
You may be familiar with Jodi Picoult as an author who writes realistic fiction for women, but did you know that she has also published a couple of Young Adult books? No? Well, I didn’t either until fairly recently.
One of these books is called Between the Lines and it was written as a collaboration between Jodi and her daughter Samantha. Can I just say that I love how this book came about? Samantha thought it would be interesting to create a story where the characters come to life and have different dreams and aspirations, just like the reader. It may sound a bit like Once Upon a Time, but trust me, it’s completely different.
Between the Lines focuses on Oliver, a prince from a fairy tale who connects with a reader and longs to escape the monotony of being a character in a fictional book and enter our world. When Oliver says ‘Help Me’, a reader called Delilah is able to hear him. She tries to help Oliver leave the book, whilst keeping this all a secret from her mum and peers; they already think Delilah is completely crazy.
The book jumps between the perspectives of both Delilah and Oliver, and we are also given snippets of the fairytale itself. I loved this way of narrating the story – it’s so unique and you feel immersed in the story. I also found it easy to connect with Delilah, who struggles to fit in at school and just wants to read all day. I liked finding out about the other characters in the fairytale, for example Frump, the human-turned dog who has a crush on a princess (who is conveniently in love with Oliver). Unfortunately, I did think that Oliver and Delilah’s relationship was a bit shallow and unrealistic. it seemed to happen very fast, and there wasn’t much of a build up. I also thought that some of the things Oliver knew (or didn’t know) about the modern world didn’t really make any sense.
Between the Lines turned out to be different to what I’d expected, but in a good way. Although the book is aimed at young teenagers, I think it will appeal to anyone who loves fairytales. Between the Lines is a sweet and imaginative book that offers readers the chance to escape.
Have you read Between the Lines? If so, what are your thoughts?