Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
"When they say 'Once upon a time'...they're lying. It's not once upon a time. It's not even twice upon a time. It's hundreds of times, over and over, every time someone opens up the pages of this dusty old book." That's Oliver, the prince in Between the Lines, a novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer. Between the Lines is also the name of the fairy tale where Prince Oliver lives and speaks his lines over and over again. What happens when a character knows he's a character, and desperately wants out? What happens when a reader falls for the character, and wants to help him escape? That's the premise of this young adult novel that will touch the heart of every teen and adult woman who was a loner who turned to books, and saw those books come to life.
At fifteen, Delilah McPhee is one of those girls. She's a ninth grader whose first words in the book are, "I'm weird." She would rather spend time with a book than participate in sports, or be outdoors. She's a loner whose attempts at sports only cause her to be a social pariah. She injures the most popular girl in school, hangs out with a girl with a pink Mohawk and safety pins in her ears, and lives with her mom after her father left them five years earlier. And, when she comes across an old fairy tale, Between the Lines, in her school library, she falls for Prince Oliver. She reads the book over and over again until one day, she realizes the book has changed. And, it isn't long before Oliver leaves her a message, "Help me."
Between the Lines is the story of two misfits reaching out for each other. As Delilah and Prince Oliver attempt to find a way to get Oliver out of the book, they grow closer to each other, discovering neither had a father in their life. And, a prince who lacks the gift of courage, and a girl who lacks confidence, scheme and create plans to change the course of a story.
The illustrations in this book are by Yvonne Gilbert and Scott M. Fischer, and they're gorgeous, and appropriate. The book is told in three parts, illustrated by the ink. Prince Oliver lives in a fairy tale, and that story is told with colored illustrations suitable for a fairy tale, and black print. It begins, "Once upon a time," and it truly is the fairy tale. Oliver tells his own story in purple print, and each time the READER opens the book, Oliver is thrust back into the fairy tale at the point where the book is opened. Delilah's story is in green ink.
Between the Lines is a story for young adults who feel as if they
are misfits. At the same time, those of us who were once lonely readers
will find the book beautiful and moving. It takes courage for both
teens to attempt to change their roles in the world. This book isn't for all of Jodi Picoult's adult readers. It's a young adult novel aimed at that market. At the same time, that aim targets the heart of so many adult readers. It's a fairy tale in which the reader and the character actually have a say in the outcome, with a little help from one more lonely teen. Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer illustrate what many of us readers and dreamers always suspected. There really is life Between the Lines.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
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My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.