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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising Picoult YA Debut
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...
Published on June 26, 2012 by Amanda

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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly decent read, but not extraordinary
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 -...
Published 24 months ago by HD


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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising Picoult YA Debut, June 26, 2012
This review is from: Between the Lines (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. Not only do we jump between various characters, we are even treated to actual excerpts from the fairy tale book in the story, and it offers interesting insight into the characters and weaves incredibly well into the overarching plot.

As expected from Picoult, Between the Lines is well-written and solidly plotted, but something about the writing just seemed...simpler here than anything else I've ever read by her. The writing wasn't as complex, the characters weren't as multi-faceted, the plot was a little more linear and not so twisty -perhaps this is just the result of moving in the YA genre, but it was a little jarring for a long-time Picoult reader. Regardless, it worked well for the subject matter.

Between the Lines is a unique and unexpected entry into the YA genre, and a solid debut for Picoult. Not at all disappointing for long-time Picoult fans, but definitely for teens.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly decent read, but not extraordinary, July 21, 2012
This review is from: Between the Lines (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. I admit, about halfway through, I just starting skipping the parts that were supposed to be part of the fairy tale as they seemed to serve no actual purpose. It'd be one thing if they were being used as a device to let the reader get to know Oliver better - but Oliver spends the entire book complaining about how his 'character' in the fairy tale has absolutely nothing to do with the real him.

I was really bummed that this story didn't pull me in as I had hoped, because the concept actually did seem incredibly interesting. It's that sort of story that could have been so amazing, but it read a little too forced and a lot too skin-deep and predictable.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and charming fantasy romance, July 5, 2012
This review is from: Between the Lines (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. At the same time, though, the authors offer the reader something to think about, too, as they don't shy away from more serious issues, such as abandonment, growing up with only one parent, fear of rejection, and social awkwardness. And they tackle them in the most graceful and subtle way. Ultimately, the real magic of this book lies in the ingenious concept and its magnificent, breath-taking execution. Jodi and Samantha ask many great questions: what do characters do when no one is reading the book? What happens to them? Do they have their own, somewhat more real lives outside the story? And what if the characters are tired of playing the same old scenario over and over again? What if they want out? What happens then? I thought the concept was downright brilliant and I had a whole lot of fun following Oliver's adventures as he was trying desperately to escape the imaginary world of Between The Lines (yes, the book in the story has the exact same title). It was very entertaining!

I liked the characters a lot. Both Oliver and Delilah were likeable, cute, and quite convincing. While I didn't think that the characters were exceptionally fleshed-out, I also didn't think them necessary to be. After all, it's more of a fairy-tale than a typical boy-meets-girl contemporary novel, and definitely a plot rather than character driven one. I liked how Jodi and Samantha handled the dynamics between the protagonists, their dialogues were funny and seemed real - as real as a dialogue between a girl and a character from a book can be, that is. However, as much as I enjoyed the adventure part of their story, I can't say that I felt the chemistry between them. And that's one of the reasons why this book felt more middle grade than young adult to me. The world building was rich and exquisite, and I absolutely loved all the fantasy elements, but at the same time, I thought that the romance part was a little bit lacking. Maybe it's the whole concept of a girl falling in love with a character from a children's book that I had a problem with, or maybe it's just the fact that the story focused mainly on getting Oliver out of the fairy-tale novel he was stuck in, and not on the young couple's feelings - I don't know. All I know is that I wanted a little bit more sexual tension between these two, because to me they acted more like really good friends than teenagers in love.

That's not to say that I didn't love the book, because I did. I absolutely and utterly loved it. It was fresh, sweet, funny, and just so deliciously readable. I loved exploring the imaginary world from Oliver's book, but I also liked reading about the world Delilah lived in. Like I said before, I liked both Oliver and Delilah, but these two were not the only memorable characters. I loved some of the side-kicks, too, especially Delilah's best friend, Jules. She was hilarious! And Oliver's side-kick, Frump, was too. And while they didn't play essential roles in the story, their presence added a lot of flavor to it.

All in all, Between The Lines is a brilliant work of fiction with a provocative and engaging theme: life is but a story and the happy ending we get (and whether we'll get it at all) is entirely up to us. Nothing is set in stone. We hold the power to shape our future, all it takes is just a little bit of faith and persistence. To me, Between the Lines is a book with a timeless appeal, and one that I will be re-reading time and time again.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I am embarrassed for both authors, January 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Between the Lines (Kindle Edition)
The Readers Digest version: Drivel!
This book was horrible. The concept has been done; although, the authors seem to think they've come up with something new. Even if it were a new idea (and of course it's NOT) it was carried out so basically. Everything has been 'done before' down to the off beat side kick and other characters. Even much of the dialog has been spoken in other stories. It is trivial, shallow, predictable and BORING. And yes, I painfully read the whole mess. It was assigned by our book club. If you don't read the book in it's entirety, you are not invited to attend the meeting. And the meetings are FUN! So I suffered through this garbage. Nothing fresh, not even the humor. It's ALL been done before. Forgot the money, I want those hours back! I wouldn't have read this in High School. Maybe early Jr. High. If you're an adult or even a casual reading, skip this one. And don't kid yourself, it does not get better as you continue. Wait til I find out who in the book club is responsible for this waste of time.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jodi Picoult in a whole new light!! Loved it!!, June 26, 2012
This review is from: Between the Lines (Hardcover)
I've always loved reading Jodi Picoult books, I've only read 3-4 of her adult novels but all of them captivated me in a way thats hard to compare too. Her books always tug at your heartstrings, make you question your feelings regarding certain issues, and really make you think, which good novels should make you do (in my opinon). When I heard she was coming out with her first YA novel paired with her daughter I knew right away I wanted to read it.

This book is unlike any of her other novels, in fact I honestly couldn't tell from the writing style that it was even Jodi Picoult, and if I didn't know who wrote the book, I never in a million years would have guessed that she was the author. That being said, the writing was PHENOMENAL, just not typical Picoult that's all. This was a modern day fairy tale. It flipped between the fairy tale, a character in the fairy tale; Oliver, and The girl reading the book; Delilah. I liked how it flipped between the three different perspectives, and the illustrations in the book (althought I read the ARC and the artwork was not final) was stunning. I loved the illustrations that clung to the words in the beginning of the book, I felt it added to the book in a way that was unique and fun.

This book was magical, fun, and I think any book lover will truly enjoy the concept of this book, we all know we've "fallen" for a fictional character before and maybe not to this extreme but its fun to imagine the possibilites of having a magical book that truly comes to life when you open the pages. I truly hope that Jodi Picoult partners on more YA books with her daughter because it certainly was a magical duo.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My least favorite Picoult book, July 6, 2012
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This review is from: Between the Lines (Hardcover)
I have read and enjoyed all of Picoult's previous books. I realized that this one would be different since it was written with her daughter and meant to be a young adult novel; however, it was very different and the style was nothing like her other books. I was disappointed in the development of both characters and plot. The book seemed more suitable to a very young juvenile audience rather than young adults. I am sorry that I spent the money on the hardcover edition, and I can not recommend it.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, August 10, 2012
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This review is from: Between the Lines (Hardcover)
If I had a 12 year old daughter I would not give it to her. She'd be bored like her Mom. Halfway through, I call it quits.
The story and characters are as flat as the fairy tale the main character is reading. I get the feeling the book was written by a 12 year old for 12 year olds. Not an established writer AND daughter. I think the name Picoult was only put onto the book so it gets sold. What a shame. I hate writing bad reviews and rarely do so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "MAGICAL, FUNNY, INSPIRING!", June 26, 2012
This review is from: Between the Lines (Hardcover)
A delightful and clever young adult romance about a magical relationship between a teenage girl and her fictional Prince. This young lady who prefers books, books, and more books has one incredible imagination. A loner and a dreamer who is both charming and funny. A refreshing, delightful journey of a young teen and her own unique adventure. Enjoyable, and Highly Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for young adults., September 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Between the Lines (Kindle Edition)
A refreshing twist on a fairy tale. A story to equal The Princess Bride. I would like to see this on the big screen. A story for everyone who believes that everyone deserves a happy ending. I hope mother and daughter team up again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terific, September 2, 2013
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Kylie Lynam (North Rockhampton, Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Between the Lines (Kindle Edition)
just as intriguing as all of her other books gets you right from the start just can't put it down
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Between the Lines
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult (Paperback - June 25, 2013)
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