Title: Between the Lines
Author: Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
Recommended for: Middle School
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Picoult
Synopsis: A girl, stuck in a world that doesn’t seem very magical, starts to read and reread a fairy tale book from the library with hand drawn pictures. She finds the escapism appealing–and the prince in the story appealing, too. Once, when she is looking at the pictures, she sees that things have changed slightly. She starts to examine each page, and eventually realizes that everyone in the book is alive, but magically forced to reenact the story every time a reader reads the book. No one minds this arrangement except Oliver, the prince, who is as desperate to escape the monotony of his existence as she is to escape into his story. When they start to work together to get Oliver out of the story, their relationship deepens.
Jodi Picoult wrote this story with her teenaged daughter, and I picked it up because I thought people would be asking about the newest book by Jodi. I have never read her other books, but apparently they also switch perspectives. This book changes between Delilah and Oliver’s point of view while being interspersed with the original story in which Oliver is trapped. The different points of view are clearly defined by different colors and fonts, which really helps. It is not the format that is confusing–it is the basic idea that characters are still living in books after we close the pages. I could get past that idea if I were drawn into the characters, but everything kind of surface level. I did not believe in their relationship or the development of the characters in the story. This read like a well-done fanfiction to me! This seems like exactly the kind of book I would like, and I didn’t, so I am not sure it would appeal to a wide range. It may work well for a younger reader who likes the concept of books being real. The whole thing was done significantly better in Inkheart!