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Between the Lines Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Between The Lines is every reader's dream, in my opinion, because who hasn't wished for their favorite book characters coming to life? I know I have with several books and that's why this is a really great book that I'm sure a lot of people will love as well.
To say this book is unique is putting it lightly. It's a contemporary young adult book but it also has fantasy elements, which I loved. There were two points of view: Delilah and Oliver's, but it also focuses on pages that are part of the book, Between The Lines, that Oliver is a part of. So yes, this book is pretty remarkable in that way.
I just really love the concept of this story. Oliver, a fictional prince stuck to repeat the same fairy tale over and over again and Delilah, a reader that loves said fairy tale and as it turns out the only one who can actually hear Oliver. And together they're trying to find a way to get Oliver out of the book.
The trouble Oliver and Delilah go through to try and get him out of the book was huge to say the least. Everything they tried failed each and every time. But I loved how they didn't want to give up now that they had found each other. The story wasn't perfect or anything because it's not like it's the best book I have ever written but it was a sweet story, cute, romantic with fairy tale elements. I just love books like that from time to time.
Overall, Between The Lines was a pretty great story that I know will speak to any reader. In the end all the pieces fitted and everyone got their happy ending, just like I hoped they would.
Maybe the final was the least part I enjoyed (I mean, the "solution" of the problem), but anyway, it's a book that reads like a fairy tale. It feels like a fairy tale inside a fairy tale.
Between the Lines was not a deep and dark book, it instead was cheerful and adorable. This is perfect as a quick summer read.
The characters were all well developed, although I do admit the relationship between Oliver and Delilah was a little quick and was not very believable at first. Fortunately, as the novel continued, I found myself loving them together.
This book was very funny but in a silly kind of way, for example, the fairy tale itself was rather silly and weird. There were several moments outside of the fairy tale that did have me laughing (I seriously loved the mermaids, they were great).
If you are looking for a thought provoking novel, this may not be it, but it is still fun and enjoyable. I recommend giving it a try, especially because it only gets better in Off The Page, its companion novel.
Oliver is tired of repeating the same series of events over and over whenever anyone opens the pages of the book. He really isn't at all enchanted with the princess that his is destined to save. While lovely, Seraphina isn't very bright and, besides, his best friend Frump who was magically turned into a dog has a major crush on her.
This was an imaginative and engaging story. Who hasn't thought that the characters in books had a secret life when the covers were closed? I liked Oliver's determination in finding a way to get out of the story and Delilah's determination to help him. I liked what this book said about the power of story.