Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer


Delilah would rather be reading a book then hanging out with friends, taking on sports, or hitting the coffee shops like most girls her age.  She has been labeled a loner, and that is fine by her.

But lately, it has been just one book that has her attention and it’s a bit embarrassing as it is a Fairy Tale written for someone much younger than she with illustrations and the whole works.  But there is something about this book called Between The Lines that speaks to her….

I mean… REALLY speaks to her.  Because one day, Prince Oliver calls out to her literally from the pages.  Page 43 to be exact…

and both their worlds change.

Oliver has a life within the book, he plays a role when the book is open and does his part, as all the characters do, to perform for the reader.  When the book is closed, the characters have lives, playing chess, baking cakes….  but Oliver has seen the world behind the readers face when the book is open and he knows there is something more out there… something he longs for, and the fact that Delilah’s face is pretty nice to look at, just makes him want out of the book even more.

So… how do you pull a character out of a book?  Oliver isn’t no background character like third henchman on the left… nope… he is the main protagonist.

So Delilah and Oliver work together to try to figure out a way for him to be released from the book.  Oliver finds his world flat and bland and Delilah really doesn’t have much more of an exciting one.  Can this fairy tale really have a happy ending?

So I am in Barnes and Noble recently (yes, yes, my Mother Ship) and I am craving a little YA.  This book caught my eye and after reading the first few pages I knew I wanted to know how this story would end. 

Jodi Picoult explains in the beginning of the book that this story line was actually her teenage daughter Samantha’s idea.  Samantha called Jodi one day while she was on a book tour and said she had an idea for a story.  What if the characters within a book had lives once the cover was closed, just like we do when we are not reading?  Jodi liked the idea and offered to write the story with Samantha.  This decision led to a two-year project of writing and editing through weekends, evenings, and during summer vacation… the result?  Well….


I read Between The Lines in about 4 hours.  I literally did not want to put the book own.  Beautiful illustrations pop up on the occasional page and lets just say, I can see why Delilah was fascinated with Oliver.  The story alternates between the Fairy Tale, Delilah, and Oliver and honestly to me it was brilliant.  I always love books that break the mold and this is one that did just that.

The book is sweet and funny.  When it is Oliver’s chapters and he is trying to understand Delilah’s world, there are some funny moments.  For him, if it doesn’t exist in the book, he knows nothing of it… here is a funny section from page 21 that Oliver narrates as he is trying to understand the readers world:

I’ve learned many things the otherworld has that we don’t: television (which is something parents do not like as much as books); Happy Meals (apparently not all meals bring joy, just the ones that come in a small bag with a toy; and showers (something you do before bedtime that leaves you drenched). 

I really enjoyed the book… it has its flaws but nothing that was a deal breaker for me and I honestly loved the break from serious reading to enjoy a sweet tale of fairy tale romance between a Prince and a book lover (I personally think, the way it was meant to be.)

I will keep this book with my other books by Picoult, but this one I think will hold a special place in my heart as it is not the hard story line that she writes for adults, but a softer side that I really really enjoyed.  I recommend this book for YA lovers young and old…. not every YA book needs to be tricked out with hot guys on motor cycles, high school age gorgeous vampires, or dystopian bread makers, some just require a prince….

and his horse.

18 thoughts on “Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

    1. My review is up for Forgotten Margie, if you don’t see it just enter the title in the search at the top right of this page. It was good, but I liked her other two better… this one was a little more far fetched.

  1. The book was intriguing to me because of the collaboration between Jodi and her daughter…and then, like you mentioned, it was a different kind of YA story, which, for me, was a positive. I’m not a fan of the YA books about evil, vampires, and crappy boarding schools…or even the kind that spotlights the bad behavior of the kids. So this one was definitely refreshing.

  2. I’d decided not to read this but your review has made me reconsider! I love the last line though I don’t mind hot guys on motorcycles or dystopian breadmakers (Team Peeta!). 🙂

  3. Great review. I only ever read one Piccolt book, and I was disappointed. The thing is, it wasn’t the writing or even the story that let me down. It was a situation where I thought the book would be about one thing, and it was entirely NOT what I thought it would be. I was excited about what I thought it would be, so I was disappointed. The book on it’s own really wouldn’t have been bad. I’ve been wanting to give this author another (more fair) try. Maybe I’ll pick up this one. Thanks so much for the review. 😀

  4. If I HAD to choose my favourite author, Jodi Picoult would be my answer. I’ve been wanting this book since its release, so I’ve no idea why I haven’t yet purchased it. Thanks for the review.. You brought it back to my mind 🙂

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