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Between the Lines Hardcover – June 26, 2012

532 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10-Fifteen-year-old Delilah likes nothing better than to escape into a book when high school life gets too depressing. But after the hero of her favorite fairy tale comes to life before her eyes, she starts to wonder if she's been spending too much time with books and not enough time with real people. Oliver, a 16-year-old prince, feels trapped in his story, reliving the same scenes over and over. He longs to leave his book, and he is attracted to Delilah, the reader he sees most often hovering above the pages. Delilah and Oliver may be from two different worlds, but they have an emotional connection. Will it be strong enough to bridge the gap that separates fantasy and reality? Written in collaboration with her teenage daughter, this light novel is a departure from Picoult's usual milieu. The story shifts between Delilah's and Oliver's perspectives and is interspersed with sections from the fairy tale in which Oliver is trapped. Full-color and black-and-white illustrations decorate some pages. While the writing style is polished and the pacing is good, the characters lack depth and the ending falls flat. On the whole, this book is a fluffy, fun read for younger teens, but one that lacks emotional punch.-Misti Tidman, Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"A compulsively readable charmer. The teen dialogue and interior monologues feel authentic, while Picoult’s practiced hand balances humor with larger issues such as abandonment, hope, and existential quandaries related to fate and human nature. Both silhouette and pencil drawings abound; characters climb in and around the text to excellent effect. Younger readers and their parents will appreciate the gentle, wholesome romance, with nary a shred of paranormal action. The tender, positive tone and effective pacing that builds to a satisfying finish will inspire readers to pass the book to a friend—or reread it themselves." --Booklist

"A clever YA romance about the magical relationship between a loner and her fictional “Prince Charming.” Elements from Picoult’s other novels—alternating character viewpoints with distinguishing fonts, snappy chapter endings—are present, and the story is peppered with pop culture references to The Hunger Games, the Kindle Fire, and the X-Men, as well as comic relief in the form of characters like a talking horse that thinks it has a weight problem. Readers...will be swept up by the romantic premise." --Publishers Weekly

"Picoult and her coauthor daughter deliver an enjoyable, metafictive twist on the traditional teen-romance novel.... Book lovers in particular are likely to get a kick out of the blurring of the lines between character and reader, fact and fiction.... Fizzy fairy-tale fun." --Kirkus Reviews

"Picoult and her daughter, Van Leer, have created a multilayered universe where what is real is in the eye of the beholder." --VOYA

"Engagingly written...a fun romp that fans of both fairy tales and teen romance will enjoy." --Shelf Awareness for Readers

“Between the Lines” is a romance between a girl and a boy, but even more, it’s a love letter to the visceral bond between a reader and a musty, beloved book.... The fictional “Between the Lines” is funny and unexpected...and it’s fascinating to watch the authors address the problem of what it would be like to live not just in a story, but in a physical book..."  --The Washington Post

"An exceedingly clever concept that would be challenging to pull off, if not for the deep understanding of character, plot and pacing provided by Picoult... Conceptually, "Between the Lines" is reminiscent of the "Toy Story" movies... An exploration of the nature of escapism that asks whether reality is any more real than make-believe, "Between the Lines" will delight readers of all ages whose imaginations willfully blur that distinction."
--Los Angeles Times

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: EMILY BESTLER BOOKS/ATRIA/SIMON PULSE; First Edition edition (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451635753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451635751
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (532 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As I long-time fan of Jodi Picoult, I've been watching her career very closely. It's been interesting to watch her change over time, to see her plots evolve and her create a unique formula all her own (something of a female-focused legal plot packed with deep family conflicts and laced with commentary on modern issues and literary elements) and then watch her deviate from that. I was particularly intrigued when Picoult announced that she was working on a YA/MG novel with her daughter. I wasn't sure what to think -could it be really good, or would Picoult be able to translate into the YA world?

Between the Lines is a unique take on the concept of happily ever after. In this world, fairy tales are more than what they seem. Young Delilah is something of a loner, who would rather stick her nose in a book than in anyone else's business. One day she comes across a strange book called Between the Lines, a seemingly stereotypical fairy tale that holds a strange secret of its own. The characters are real people, and when prince charming himself starts speaking to Delilah, she finds that's he's anything but the traditional fairy tale prince. He yearns for more -he yearns for freedom and real love. And it's up to Delilah to free him.

Picoult and Van Leer offer a unique and more in-depth dissection of the traditional fairy tale than anything else I've ever read. The struggles here felt real, honest and most importantly -not easy (like they would be in a traditional fairy tale). I also enjoyed how Picoult wove her trademark multi-character viewpoint style into Between the Lines.
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50 of 62 people found the following review helpful By HD on July 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When I first saw this book pop up for pre-order in the Nook book store, I practically jumped up and down. A young adult novel by the woman who wrote Plain Truth, My Sister's Keeper, and Keeping Faith?! Hell yeah I want to read that! My name was on that pre-order list so fast I'm sure I had to be one of the first.

But this has to be said - for Picoult fans - this is absolutely not the insightful, deep story telling that you can normally expect from Jodi. In fact, nothing at all in this story would remind you even a little bit of Ms. Picoult's writing. It pains me to say it, but I fear that her name was put on the cover so prominently so as to help her daughter's novel push through to the shelves easier.

But I wasn't done yet - I decided that even though it wasn't truly a Picoult novel, I would still give it a fair shot.

I'd give this one a weak 3 stars. Don't get me wrong, I adore young adult novels, and can get caught up in an angst ridden relationship just as easily as the next girl, but Delilah and Oliver's relationship just doesn't ring authentic at all in this story. After only a few short conversations that consist mainly of Oliver watching Delilah read the book - he declares himself completely and utterly in love with her and ready to be wed. And Delilah's fall for him seems just as compulsory and shallow. It seems she only falls in love with Oliver because they both grew up without a father. But even then, Oliver reveals that it was just how he was 'written' in the book, not truly his childhood that she had been relating to. The narrative alternates between Oliver, Delilah, and randomly - the fairy tale itself.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Between The Lines was a surprisingly sweet and delightful read, and not at all what I initially thought it would be. I suppose I should start by saying that this was my first book by Jodi Picoult, but, although I haven't read any of her previous novels, I had a pretty good idea what they were about (who doesn't?). While it was obvious to me that Between The Lines was not going to be yet another melancholic, harrowing, and profoundly meaningful read (in other words: not the usual Jodi Picoult's type of book), I did expect it to be a slightly lighter contemporary romance/drama aimed at the Young Adult audience. Needless to say, I was wrong. Oh, so wrong! Not only is the book more of a romantic fantasy than a contemporary novel, it also reads more like a MG than a typical YA. Filled with gorgeous illustrations, adorable characters, wonderful settings and breath-taking adventures, it is a book that is just as entertaining as it is innovative, and one that has something for everyone on the age spectrum.

Between The Lines is a magical and beautifully written tale about true love, following your dreams, the power of imagination, and finding your own happily-ever-after. It's a wonderful story, and one with a beating heart. To someone like me, who grew up reading fairy tales and watching Neverending Story (over and over again), reading this book was a fantastic, uplifting experience. I enjoyed everything about it, from the imaginative premise, interesting characters and sparkly dialogues to the colorful illustrations. It's not a demanding read, you won't be biting your nails in anticipation of what happens next, nor will you come out of reading it with a tear-streaked face and a whole lot of emotional trauma. No, you're more likely to giggle, sigh in amazement, and clap in excitement.
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