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

Between The LinesBetween the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Read: January 5 – January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover (library book), 352 pages
ISBN: 978-1-45163575-1

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Emily Bestler Books/Atria Books, 2012

Personal read.

Book Blurb: 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.

My Opinion: This book had a lot of promise. It started out well and then just started to slide. Downhill. Fast.

First, the way the book was written was choppy. I was not a fan of the alternating viewpoints between Delilah, Oliver, and the fairy tale storyline. I really hate alternating first person. You just get into a character and then it switches. First person is supposed to be personal, and by swapping around so much, you are taking that personal element out.

Not that having the entire book written from one perspective would have helped. To me, the characters were just horrid and hard to relate to.

Delilah. I thought high-school me could relate to her, but not so much. Aside from liking to read, we are nothing alike. She is not genuine. She casts her best friend aside on a whim, just because there is a possibility of some prince smoochies. She doesn’t even treat Jules all that well to begin with. In Delilah’s first chapter she says one of the best things about being friends with Jules is that when they are together, people don’t look at Delilah as much. Wow. What a thing to say. That is almost as bad as saying “I like being friends with this person because I look hotter by comparison.” Really? Ugh. It was hard to believe that she would read a book so much in such quick succession. And that her mom would jump to sending her to a shrink for doing so.

Oliver. We were off to a good start with him having no courage. But then he turned out to be a Mary Sue anyways. The relationship between these two is not believable, it is not forged on anything other than he says something and she smiles or blushes (which really, can we stop with in YA literature? Please?).

Some general writing notes… the fairy tale was gearing up to be my favorite part until words like “boy-crazy” started leaking in. And then the fairy tale was filled with badness too. Yes, let’s have dentistry, a fire extinguisher, etc… in a fairy tale. The mermaids, who are the “boy-crazy” ones are actually the opposite of “boy-crazy” when the book is closed. Except that the opposite of “boy-crazy” is not “hard-core feminist”.

And the ending. I was so disappointed by the ending. It was unrealistic, it was unbelievable. It was just plain bad.

Bottom Line: I wouldn’t recommend this book above the middle grade crowd, where it might get some hype from the younger of the YA audience.

(Image and book blurb courtesy of Goodreads)


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