Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

I actually obtained my copy of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha van Leer, when I went to an event that was organised by Newcastle’s Seven Stories at Tyneside Cinema. Someone invited me to come and, despite not having read a Picoult book before, I said yes – because I like books and I like the people who write them. Included in the ticket price was a hardback copy of Off the Page, sequel to Between the Lines (or companion novel – I am yet to read it, but I’ve heard people say you can read them on their own). Given that I now owned Off the Page, I decided to get myself Between the Lines as well, and get them both signed. And today I will be reviewing the latter!

Between the Lines starts off with Delilah: fifteen years old, somewhat of an outsider at school and thoroughly addicted to re-reading a fairy tale after which the novel is named (which may or may not be partially due to the handsome prince it features). Then one day, the prince talks to her. And he wants out. Together, though separated by ink-filled pages, they try to come up with ways to transport him into Delilah’s world and away from his repetitive life within the fairy tale. But it isn’t as easy as they might have hoped…

In a way, the novel is told from three different perspectives (one isn’t really a perspective, but I don’t know what else to call it), namely Oliver’s, Delilah’s and the fairy tale as it is written in Delilah’s book. To emphasise these three different view points, the font was changed accordingly to the chapter and character narrating it, which I thought was quite a nice touch. Furthermore, each fairy tale chapter is accompanied by a a very nice illustration of a scene in the tale (and in the Off the Page hardback these illustrations are in full colour!).

Overall though, I personally wasn’t that interested in the fairy tale itself as I felt it interrupted the main story. Although it was nice to read Oliver’s story as the fairy tale author intended, I felt that perhaps it would’ve been better if the fairy tale had been pasted, as a whole, at the start of the novel, or at the end as a sort of appendix. Speaking of the fairy tale, I’m not entirely sure why it is called ‘Between the Lines’.

Although Oliver and Delilah talk a lot, they do seem to fall in love rather quickly – must note: it’s not completely insta-love though. As they talked and Delilah told Oliver about her ‘world’, I noticed there seemed to be an inconsistency with what modern-day things Oliver knew and didn’t know about.

As a whole, I thought the novel was enjoyable enough, but not much more than that. Although it is said to be Young Adult, I would say it is probably more suitable for the lower age range in that spectrum – maybe 13 – 15 year olds – because as a 20 year old, I think the story definitely felt ‘too young’ for me. That said, had I been younger, I feel I probably would have enjoyed this novel a lot. But now, to me it feels like a less intricate and compelling version of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by – I’ll be back same time next week!

Love,

Christa

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