Book Review: Between the Lines

Between the Lines

 by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Delilah, a loner hates school as much as she loves books— one book in particular. In fact if anyone knew how many times she has read and reread the sweet little fairy tale she found in the library, especially her cooler than cool classmates, she’d be sent to social Siberia forever.To Delilah, though, this fairy tale is more than just words on the page. Sure, there’s a handsome (well, okay, incredibly handsome) prince, and a castle, and an evil villain, but it feels as if there’s something deeper going on. And one day, Delilah finds out there is. Turns out, this Prince Charming is not just a one-dimensional character in a book. He’s real, and a certain fifteen-year-old loner has caught his eye. But they’re from two different worlds, and how can it ever possibly work?
Published: June 26, 2012

WARNING: This review may contain SPOILERS

     Let me start off saying that I really like this book.
I’ve always asked myself “what would it be like if the fictional character from a book falls in love with it’s reader?” I’ve looked around and Google searched until I came across this book.
   At first, I thought that this book would be like the Character falling in love with me (the reader), Because that would be totally awesome! I don’t know how that could be pulled off…perhaps in an interactive novel or e-book it is possible but it intrigued me on how this could be possible on paperback. I know it is possible but really, how?
   You can imagine my disappointment when I found out that I was reading about a reader, reading about a character who wants to get out of his story and inadvertently falls in love with the reader whilst the said reader was helping the said character escape said story. I hope that made sense.

   Although, I like this book I also want to point out that I love to hate this book as much as I love to Love it. I have this inner battle with myself on whether or not I should praise, cry over or just downright hate this book. I was on an emotional roller coaster.



     We have a lot to tackle here.

   Delilah. She has never felt like she belonged to the real world. She’s an outcast with only Jules, punk/emo as a best friend and her mom. That’s isn’t bad but She never grew up with a dad and her school life is miserable. In such a situation it isn’t so surprising that she turns to her books and clings to them desperately. This is the only place where she gets her HEA (Happily Ever After). But that’s not where the crazy starts.


     Let me give you a series of questions,
 What if the characters in your stories don’t end after you close the book? What if the character are like actors on a stage and closing the book is just like closing the curtain after the show? What if the characters go about their business in the world written for them? What do you think would happen? And finally,what if one of those characters doesn’t want to live in the story he was written in, but wants to be real? Be able to feel and think and really live!
This is the story of Delilah McPhee and fairy tale Prince Oliver. Oliver wants to escape his story and he calls out for Delilah to help him. This concept is awesomesauce!


     Fun. Sweet. And very crazy!


     I totally lost myself in this world. I couldn’t put the darn book down.
This book was chalked filled with creativity! The imagination is insanely vivid.
You will find yourself absorbed with magic and love within the pages of this wonderful story. this is the book for fans who crave a happily ever after.
   This book is told in both Delilah and Oliver’s point of view as well as the actual fairy tale that Prince Oliver belongs to. It was to say, a story within a story. I know. sounds confusing. Well, I was pretty overwhelmed at first but it became easier to follow and understand what was going on after a while.
   Every character created in the fairy tale was very detailed and well developed. They each had unique role and I was fascinated by how different they were inside and outside the story. Delilah was precious. I related with her at once and I admire her passion and dedication. I saw myself in her. I love how despite knowing that books aren’t real she still liked to think and wonder what would it be like if they were. Delilah represented readers like me who still find pleasure and harmless fun in make-believe, imagination, in magic and my favorite, true love. Even if it’s a character from a story come to life. *sigh* Sweet. I don’t know about you but I know how many fictional boyfriends I have!

     Let’s move over to Oliver for a second.



       He was just so adorable and I couldn’t help but fall for him a little (I’m weak I’m sorry!)! I loved the way that these two fell for one another. They had to understand the other in order to understand why the other wanted what they wanted. Oliver wanted reality while, Delilah wanted Fiction. This baffled both of them. Their relationship just blossoms and it’s cute and sweet and tender with just the right amount of fluff.
   I just had a slight problem at the end. Here’s where the love to hate comes in. The ending left me with a WTF reaction. It wasn’t exactly terrible. It’s just that the characters spend a good second half of the book trying to find a way to get Oliver out of the book, and when they do it’s incredibly anticlimactic and sudden. It felt too fast and rushed- as if the writer decided to end it as soon as possible. But that’s not even the real problem I have with the ending.

     In the book, there was this emphasis on the importance of family.



     Oliver’s father is killed by the dragon and his mother is so protective she insists that he doesn’t fight, Delilah’s father left her when she was a child, Delilah’s mother is constantly worried about her. The whole reason why Delilah was even drawn to the book in the first place is because she and Oliver both don’t have fathers. Keeping this in mind you can now understand why the ending was so unexpected and kind of inconsistent.
   Toward the end of the book we meet the writer of the fairy tale, Jessamyn. Her son Edgar is identical to Oliver. I won’t go into anymore details and just put it out there. In a magical way in which not enough explanation was given, Oliver and Edgar switch places. Edgar is placed into the story and Oliver is expected to act as Jessamyn’s new son. Happy Ever After!

     My reaction was like:



WHAT?!!!!!


(Warning: Rant ahead)


That’s that’s clever and witty and this makes everyone happy but it is also very WRONG!
     I don’t want it to be because I love how Oliver and Delilah works out. I just…What about Edgar????
Despite Edgar not being the best son for Jessamyn, that does not change the fact that JESSAMYN’S SON IS EDGAR!!! Jessamyn very much loves Edgar. Edgar volunteered to be in a fairy tale, I get that but keeping him away from his loving mother lessened the happy in a ‘happy ending’.



     After the book presented this consistent theme of family we are shown that it was perfectly alright for a mother and son to be separated forever. Said mother is completely unaware of this at the end of the story. she had no say in her son’s fate. She wasn’t given a chance!

(RANT OVER!)

I know this may not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ll admit, even if it was far fetched, I really enjoyed this story for what it was. It made me fantasize what it would be like to fall in love and have a HEA with a character written in one of my favorite stories. (Percy Jackson and Daniel Grigori please!). This stuff is what makes readers read. If the story can take you away from your reality and pull you in to a new world full of possibilities, It’s good. Despite the ending, I truly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the ride and I can’t wait for the sequel! I want to see more Delilah and Oliver as well as Edgar and Jessamyn closure.

I recommend this. I do. Between the Lines will have you guessing to the very end and devouring each page at great speed. It’s a page turner and mind blower(is that legit?). A perfect escape from reality.
Overall 8/10
 
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