Review: Between the Lines

Title: Between the Lines
Authors: Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Synopsis:

What happens when happily ever after… isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

This novel is a mother-daughter collaboration. Picoult, known for her controversial and thought provoking novels toned it down for this book, either that or it was written mainly by her daughter.

Now let me get straight to the point. I didn’t love this novel. Actually, I don’t know if I even liked it. It was so unmemorable that I’m sitting here wondering if it was any good. I do recall struggling to finish it, though, if that’s any indication as to whether I enjoyed reading it. Note: I finished it about a week ago.

This book is about a girl, a social pariah who managed to injure the most popular girl in school on more than one occasion. She has one best friend until one day she opens a fairytale book. Within days she becomes obsessed with this fairytale and begins hiding from her only human friend. Not a good idea. Add in the fact that she can hear Oliver, the storybook’s main character speak, freely at that, well that just points to insanity.

Oliver has a lack of courage. He was gifted by some godmothers who left out the gift of courage, replacing it with the gift of life. However, he’s smart, good-looking and perfect in every way. I’m sorry, but really? They say he has a lack of courage and yet he’s willing to jump into the unknown when he asks Deliah to get him out of his book. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty ballsy.

I don’t know, nothing about this book was really ‘wow’ to me. It was pretty 2D. After reading Picoult’s other novels (My Sister’s Keeper, The Pact, etc…) this was really boring. There was no depth to the story, to the characters, just a whiny pretty boy and an anti-social girl who are in love with each other. It doesn’t help that their main connecting point at the beginning is that fact that his character grew up without a father. You don’t fall in love with a book character just ’cause of that. And it doesn’t help that they keep pointing out that that was their main connecting factor. And Oliver even admits at the beginning – he never had a father, really. His father was just mentioned in passing. Heck, he didn’t even have a mother. He was just a freaking book character who was born from the written word.

Throughout this novel, there was always some aspect that bothered me. There were so many kinks in the story, as well, and I just ended up utterly disappointed in the end.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3.5/5
World Building: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 3/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.48/5

Quotes:
“He’s not your typical prince, more like a square peg in a round hole, kind of like me. He’s the sort of guy who wouldn’t mind reading side by side on a date.”

“Here I am, wasting away inside a book I wish I could escape, and all she wants to do is stay in the story. If I could talk to this girl Delilah, I’d ask her why on earth she would ever trade a single second of the world she’s in for the one in which I’m stuck”

“I’d much rather pretend I’m somewhere else, and any time I open the pages of a book, that happens.”

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