Between the Lines

Between the Lines

Breathtakingly beautiful, pensively poignant, and exceedingly entertaining, Jodi Picoult works with her own teen daughter to create a new kind of ya novel. Between the Lines is a refreshing take on a fairy tale with a happy ending. This one has it all: a quiet, loner teen girl captivated by a fairy tale book she checks out from the library. This book is different, though. Something keeps tugging her into the story, and suddenly the story changes. Things begin to appear on pages that were never there before. She thinks she's imagining things, or worse, she's going a bit crazy.

   Oliver is a shy prince who isn't the least bit valiant; in fact, he is quite un-brave. He uses his wits to get past trolls and villians, not his boldness or swagger. He feels trapped in the same story forever...until, one day a Reader sees him, no...really sees him. He is able to talk to her and she can actually hear him.

   Both Delilah and Oliver think this new twist is exciting and weird, and Oliver begs Delilah to try to rescue him from the story. What if Oliver could escape his world, and live a real life in hers?

   The action is told sometimes in Delilah's world of high school hallways and her bedroom; sometimes the story is told as the Reader is reading the fairy tale and the action is forever and always the same for Oliver because he is merely an actor in the story, and sometimes the story is told as Oliver tries to escape his fairy tale life. The best times are when Delilah, the real girl, is talking to storybook character Oliver--who is real on the pages in front of her.

   Fans of Picoult will see the mother's deft touch and hear her teen daughter's youthful voice in the voice of the main characters. What a team! It is the brilliant match-up--the seasoned writer with a new and vibrant, young voice of today's ya reader. This is sheer marketing genius! The cover shouts Jodi Picoult's name, so Picoult fans will likely pick it up and the teen girl on the cover invites high school readers to become new fans of Picoult and Van Leer.

   I haven't read a book quite like this one. It's new and exciting, and I bet someone in Hollywood would like to see this story on the big screen--I know I would. Bidding on this book's movie rights is about to get fierce.

   Highly, highly recommended grades 7-up. Finally, a book so entertaining, our middle school readers can access and high school readers will love.

 Recommended by: Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA Visit her award winning ya novels blog at 2012 High School Blog of the Year Texas Library Association

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