Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

  Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

 July 1 2012, Allen & Unwin, 352 pages

4 out of 5 stars

Author loyalty meant that I was always going to read this book, no questions asked. All that said however, I still had my doubts when I learnt that Jodi Picoult (one of all time favourite authors) was teeming up with her daughter to write a young adults novel. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against teen novels – I read a fair bit of them myself – I just couldn’t fathom how the duo might pull this off, given Picoult’s trademark style and content. Would I feel for these characters as much as I do for some of Picoult’s more known ones? Would I find myself questioning what I would do if I was faced with a similar situation? At the end of the book would I be left wanting more? Needing more, because she couldn’t possibly end the book on that twist once again? And while I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Between the Lines’ and am glad I read it, I can’t really answer those questions in the affirmative. While it is true, I did quite enjoy the book, being a fairytale enthusiast probably didn’t hurt the books case.

‘Between the lines’ is the story of Deliah, a girl who lives in the ‘real’ world, is a bit of a loner, and spends her life emersed in books, and the adventures she encounters when confronted with the fairytale Prince, Prince Oliver, and the lengths they will go to, to release Prince Oliver from his fairytale bounds. The narrative is quite imaginative at times, and relies heavily on the reader having experienced not only the pleasure of reading a good book, but the experience of feeling as though the characters within the story talk to you, and with you.

The book started a bit iffy, but once you allow yourself to be acquainted with their joined style of writing, its easy enough to find yourself lost in not only Deliah’s world, but Oliver’s fairytale as well. And while it’s true that I never really found myself as attached to either of their characters as much as I would have liked, I did find myself holding my breath trying to work out how certain things would come together for the duo – and at one critical moment I found myself second guessing the story and the authors when a certain character was introduced right before the end and a cop out ending looked to be ensured. N/B there is no cop out ending.

In the end I had to remind myself that this book was a joint effort and something new for both authors, and thus the book needs to be judged on that merit. What I particularly loved about this book however was the way it was set out. From the very first time I laid eyes on it, I was enchanted by the layout, the look, the coloured fonts and the full page pictures and small silhouettes scattered through the book. The combined effect of all of these aspects made the book not only a delight to behold, but gave it further fairytale character and brought me back to my old childhood favourites. It creates a book that Picoult and Van Leer acknowledge as a “keepsake” that stands against the technological age that is forever changing the book industry at this time.

If you’ve wondered what happens to the characters in a book, once you’ve finished reading the book, then you should give it ago.

Small revisions have been made here, however content and majorily of the review has been left untouched. The original review was posted on the July 5, 2012 on Goodreads and can be found here.


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