Thursday, January 24, 2013

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & 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. (from GoodReads)

I was so excited that Jodi Picoult was coming out with a YA novel - I love her adult fiction and hoped she would be just as amazing with a younger audience. I didn't know that she wrote this book with her teenage daughter - and it definitely shows. 

Between the Lines is supposed to be YA, but reads more like Middle Grade. Delilah is 15 and is an immature 15-year-old at that. She is obsessed with a fairy tale and is surprised when the protagonist, Prince Oliver, starts talking to her. This story line is something I would have really enjoyed in early middle school or maybe even younger (for those who are advanced readers).

I think that was my biggest problem with the book - that I was nowhere near the target audience but I was lead to believe that I was. Between the Lines had none of the depth, character or plot development that I've come to expect from a Jodi Picoult novel. Delilah falls in love with a book character and while many readers have been in that situation (myself included), I thought it was unrealistic that Delilah would give up everything - her mom, her best friends - for Oliver.

I think Between the Lines would be perfect for the 10-14 age range, especially with the beautiful illustrations. If you're older, you may feel underwhelmed by the simplicity.

Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2012/Simon Pulse/358 pages.


Anonymous said...

I have read books like this. I have to be selective with the YA that I read because it can be difficult to connect with the characters. It is more difficult when the book seems to target an even younger reading audience, but is PR'ed to an older crowd. Thanks for your thoughts.

Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan said...

Thanks for the heads-up! We saw this on shelves and were intrigued, but it sounds like maybe it's a bit younger than what we're hoping for... Wonder if they'll repackage it and market it more MG when it goes to paperback??