I finished reading Between the Lines, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer just yesterday. I heard so much about this book on booktube and on blogs, all I knew was that people were raving about the idea of this book.
So of course I went and found it and decided to try it out!
Verdict? It did not disappoint one bit!
"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.
A romantic and charming story, this companion novel to Off the Page will make every reader believe in the fantastical power of fairy tales."
If you're looking for a happy, feel-good contemporary, look no further! Between the lines is one of those books that you can read and feel satisfied about having read on every level. It was super easy to get into!
Basically, Between the Lines is about Delilah, a 15-year-old girl who finds a book in the library one day, and reads it once, twice, a hundred times. Even though it's a kid's fairy-tale, she keeps reading it over and over. Why? Because she can relate to the main character, Prince Oliver, in more ways than one. She feels as though he can understand her... until he starts actually talking to her one day.
It turns out that all of the characters in the story live their own lives when the book is closed and no one is reading it. They have other hobbies and interests, and would rather be doing their own thing than being who they show to be whenever someone reads the book. It's quite cool, actually, how anytime someone reads the book, they put on a play.
"Just so you know, when they say "once upon a time"... they're lying. It's not once upon a time. It's not even twice upon a time. It's hundreds of times, over and over, every time someone opens up the pages of this dusty old book."
So already the idea behind this book is amazing. But I also really liked the characters and the writing style!
This book is told in a series of different chapters (Which are each written in a different font and color which I love!!) The three types of chapters are The ones told by Delilah, The ones told by Oliver, and the ones that are chapters from the fairy-tale. They constantly rotate evenly, giving the situation in different points of view, with a few pages of the book here and there to give an extra angle to the context. They're each told differently, and were done so well! The ideas flow really nicely between these parts. Another aspect of the physical book itself that I enjoyed is that in the Oliver-Delilah chapters, there are small relevant illustrations, that are quite minimalist and black-and-white, but work nicely with the flow of the story. They're not too frequent, and fit nicely on the pages. I quite like how they're very minimal, yet Delilah's watch is always in high detail. In the fairy-tale chapters, you have colored, full-page illustrations that may be directly from the fairy-tale itself.
"I'd much rather pretend I'm somewhere else, and any time I open the pages of a book, that happens."
Delilah is such a nice character! She's an avid reader, quite unpopular, and very imaginative. She stands for what she believes in, is hard working, and knows what is important in life. I actually found her to be quite relatable in personality as well.
There's a lot of important relationships that are tested between her and other characters. Of course there's the one between her and Oliver - will they ever really meet? Her mother thinks she's going slightly crazy, so sends her to a psychiatrist because she thinks she's addicted to the book. Delilah is even on the verge of loosing her best friend because she is afraid to tell her something that sounds crazy - that the book is talking to her.
Oliver, although clueless about a lot of things, is a nice character as well. He has one wish, and that's to leave the book and stop living the same lie every day. He falls in love with Delilah, and wants them to be able to be together. It sounds creepy like that, but it ends up being quite cute! ^-^ Somewhat insta-lovey, but hey, with a book with such a cool idea to it, I'll take it.
"You can't be real," Delilah murmurs.
"Says who?" I ask. "Did you really think a story only exists when you're reading it?"
The length and imagination that these two go through to get Oliver out of the book is really crazy yet amazing. I won't say how because it would be spoilers, but the ending was both very expected and unexpected.
I also have the accompanying book, Off the Page, and hopefully I'll get to it this month after two other books. September looks like it's going to be a nice reading month! :D
I'm giving this book a 4.5/5 feathers! Super light, feel-good read with an amazing idea!
Have you read Between The Lines? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Have a great day!