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I Belong

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

TitleBetween the Lines

Author: Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-101451635753 (Simon Pulse)

ISBN-13: 978-1451635751 (Simon Pulse)

Reviewed byBridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: This was a really cute book with romance, friendship, and fun characters.  I would recommend it for a younger audience, but it is a fun light read.

Opening Sentence: Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a brave king and a beautiful queen, who were so much in love that wherever they went, people stopped what they were doing just to watch them pass.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Have you ever fallen in love with a character in a book?  Well Delilah has and she can’t stop reading his fairy tale story.  Delilah is 15 years old and has never really fit in at school.  She has always been somewhat of a social outcast and her family life isn’t ideal either.  Her father left when she was little and now he has a whole new family.  She only talks to him a few times a year and her mom has never really recovered from him leaving.  To escape her life she reads books.  She recently found a children’s fairy tale from the school library that she is able to really relate to.  She knows that she is too old to be reading it but she can’t help herself.  Prince Oliver is the perfect guy, and there is no way she will ever find anyone like him in real life.  Then one day Oliver starts talking to Delilah.  Is she going crazy or is her fairy tale prince real?

Prince Oliver lives in a book.  While someone is reading the story he acts out his part, but when the book is closed everyone goes back to normal life.  He has always wondered if there is something beyond his little world.  Where are the people who read the story?  Is there any way for him to become a part of their world?  Then Oliver meets Delilah and he can’t help but be smitten with her.  Together they embark on a journey to see if they can set Oliver free from his fairy tale prison.

The story is told in three different parts.  The first part is the fairytale that Oliver is in and Delilah keeps reading.  Then you enter into Oliver’s head.  Oliver is funny, smart and cute.  He is a likeable character and he has a lot of redeemable qualities.  Delilah is a sweet young girl that has a lot of insecurities.  I loved that to escape she goes to books, because that is what I do as well.  I am guilty of falling in love with swoony boys from books too.  Overall, she was a fun character and I liked reading her story.  The only thing with the characters is they were a tad bit forgettable and after I finished the book they didn’t leave a much of an impression on me.

This was a fun read for me.  The idea was very unique and entertaining.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their stories.  There were parts that dragged a little, but overall the pacing was good.  The romance was sweet, but it was a little too fast for my liking.  I’m not a big fan of instalove and this has that a little bit.  The story was fun, but it was a little immature for me.  I think that a younger group of people would love this book.  It is really clean and a light easy read.  Overall, I did enjoy this and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys fairy tales and wants a light read.

Notable Scene:

Okay , first of all, this is not happening.

My mother is right.  I need more sleep.  It’s bad enough that I’m talking to a book, much less entertaining the thought of how to get a character out of it.

“I don’t think it works that way,” I say. “It’s not like springing someone out of jail-“

“I’m hardly a felon!”

“No, you’re a two-dimensional, inch-high illustration,” I point out.  “If you were to get out, what would you do? Live in a shoe box? Be Flat Stanley?”

“Who’s Flat Stanley?”

“Another fictional character,” I say.  I have a sudden flash of second grade, when my teacher had us take our cutouts of Flat Stanley all around the world during spring break.  My mother and I took pictures of him in Boston, eating clam chowder and waving at the seals in the aquarium.

So maybe Oliver isn’t the first fictional character with a hankering to travel.

“You don’t know that I’d stay this size. Perhaps I’d be scaled to fit your worlds, if I were lucky enough to reach it.”

“Why are we even discussing this?” I explode. “You can’t take a character out of a book!”

FTC Advisory: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Between the Lines. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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