Friday, June 26, 2015

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

Between the  Lines is my first ever book by Jodi Picoult and it was such an adventure! The book itself is published in such a nice format I could not help but read it right away when I got if from the library. There are beautiful illustrations and each point of view is not only in a different color, but a different font. The drawings in this book were one of a kind and helped me visualize the characters much better. Not only are there full page color drawings, there are also small black and white ones interspersed throughout the pages. This formatting made the book even more enjoyable and I knew just by flipping through the pages that I was going to have an excellent time reading this novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer. 

The novel's main plot is that there is a boy, Oliver, that lives inside a children's fairy tale book with all the other characters from it. When the book is opened, they reenact it as if it were a play, and then go back to their normal lives once it is closed. Oliver, however, is never truly happy, and his dream is to leave the book and go into the "Otherworld", which is the world us readers live in. Delilah, an avid reader of this fairy tale, finally sees Oliver as he is and decides to help him try to get out. 

The book opens with a beautiful illustration of  Oliver, the male protagonist, scaling a cliff with a dagger in his mouth. Not  only did this image draw me in, I immediately wanted to know more about the world. I mean, Oliver isn't that hard to look at, if I do say so myself. The first ten pages are of the fairy tale that Delilah, the main character, is obsessed with. We soon discover that this fairy tale is one of a kind. In fact, there is only one copy in existence. 

The plot is like nothing I've ever read from the young adult genre, and can only be truly compared to a fairy tale. While simple, the plot drew me in and I could not stop reading. Though juvenile at times, Delilah was such a pleasure to read. She wasn't the stereotypical female protagonist that's beautiful without knowing and has a plethora of guys fawning after her while she remains oblivious to it all. In fact, she's your average fifteen year old shy girl with one true friend to speak of and has only one parent in her life. This made her all the more real to me. While it's not plausible to have one of the characters from my books start talking to me (though I wouldn't be complaining), it is still so easy to relate to Delilah. Oliver, our other main character, is in fact, very princely. While not a prince in his real life, he proves to be a loyal, brave, and a romantic character that I couldn't help but root for as he tried getting out into the real world.

The only main problem I have with this book is a small one. Delilah seemed dependent on Oliver for her happiness, and I see that as a big issue. I want to see characters who don't need someone else to make them happy, and could be fine on their own. It's great to see Delilah and Oliver together, but I wish she was less dependent so I knew that she can achieve happiness on her own. While she only fifteen, I don't think it's healthy to be so reliant on someone (Oliver) or something (the fairy tale) to feel truly happy. 

And with that, I give this book 

4.4 out of 5 Stars! 

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