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

Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Pub. Date: 26th June 2012 (US) 5th July 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (US) Hodder & Stoughton (UK)
Readership: Children’s fiction
Genres: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★
Buy: Hardback
More: Goodreads

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult. Even though I have yet to read every single one of her adult novels, I own all of them, so when I heard that she was writing a young adult novel, I was absolutely thrilled. Between the Lines is a modern fairy tale where the characters in a book come to life and one in particular – Prince Oliver – is desperate to escape the pages he’s confined to.

Jodi Picoult says in an interview at the back of the book that she wanted to write a younger novel in order to bridge the gap between YA and her adult novels. She hopes that a 12-year-old will pick up Between the Lines, fall in love with it, and be inspired a year later to pick up My Sister’s Keeper. I think this is exactly what this book does. I feel it is a little younger than YA – perhaps ages 9-12 as opposed to ages 12-18, so it was very different to what I expected, but if you’re whimsical enough and can still be swept away by fantasy, then you may enjoy Jodi Picoult’s new endeavour.

There were some scenes that I actually really enjoyed, although I won’t mention them here for fear of ruining the story; scenes that propelled me into the story and made me wonder what it’d be like to live in a fantasy world. I pictured Oliver’s world as very similar that in Shrek – clearly fictional but with little quirks that make it believable. It is also a novel with a contemporary meaning, Delilah is unhappy with her life as it currently is and so turns to the book as a way of escape and identification. I found it difficult to like Delilah even though I empathised with her situation, but I was pleased to see that she develops throughout the story.

Between the Lines is also a book that makes me realise just how much I love ‘pretty’ books. It’s not absolutely necessary – I still enjoy books even if I dislike the covers and I enjoy e-books even though I don’t even get to see their covers for the most part, but it can be a wonderful thing. Delilah’s copy of Between the Lines is purple and leather-bound with gold lettering, which is near enough exactly (minus the leather!) what my copy looks like after the jacket is taken off. The novel itself is also full of colourful sketches, black and white illustrations, and coloured text. It’s a book that I am glad to own; I wish all books were this beautiful!

Between the Lines is a vivid, enchanting modern fairy tale; a book that any child will want to own, treasure, and read to help them escape their own everyday worries.

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing this book for review!

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

  1. I really loved the LOOK of this book. It was very pretty to flick through the pages .. unfortunately I’ve set it aside for my guest reviewer as I just don’t think I’ll be able to manage a book for younger readers right now. I am curious about reading something else by Jodi Picoult though..

    • I’d suggest Nineteen Minutes, which is my favourite (although it’s about a school shooting, if you’re OK with that!). I also enjoyed Plain Truth, The Pact, Salem Falls, House Rules, Sing You Home, Lone Wolf and My Sister’s Keeper… I suppose most of them really!

  2. With Jodi Picoult being in my top three favourite authors I’ve been meaning to pick up this book since it was published. Having read the review I will definitely be trying to purchase it the first opportunity I get.

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