Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult

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Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult

ISBN: 1444740962

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80% positive

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Review of "Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult"

published 22/09/2012 | zoe_page
Member since : 08/07/2001
Reviews : 875
Members who trust : 252
About me :
As seen on TV
Pro Quite an interesting idea
Cons Not the usual Picoult; not as fabulous as it could have been
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"A Fairy Tale With A Twist"

Delilah is a teenager who probably should have moved beyond fairy stories, but there's one in particular that has her hooked. 'Between the Lines' - a book within a book - is a classic story of a prince searching for true love and battling all sorts of dragons and demons on the way, and for Delilah it's the perfect escape. Plus, the handsome hero, Prince Oliver, doesn't hurt. Like Delilah he's growing up without a father (though this matters far less to him than it does to her) and like Delilah he can feel something of an outsider, a little bit different from everyone else around. One day, as Delilah is reading the story for the umpteenth time, she gets the odd feeling that Oliver is talking back to her from the pages. But could there really be a whole other world that goes on between the pages when the book is closed, are they all just characters acting out the script of the story but different people when the spotlight is off, and is there a chance that, between the lines, there's a lot going on that is not for readers to know about?

Told with chapters alternating between three points of view, through Delilah's and Oliver's eyes interspersed with the 'real' story, this is a highly readable modern day fairytale about a classic fairytale. As Delilah reads about Oliver's battles her own life mirrors that of the story, though in her case she's fighting with her mother over the right to read and re-read the book while he's fighting with his mother over whether or not he should be going on a dangerous adventure.

There's nothing wrong with the fact that you have a teenager reading a children's book (or that we had an adult reviewing this teenage one) and the story needs Delilah to be a bit older to make it work. And it does work. I didn't know what to expect or how on earth it would end and I wanted to find out. While I didn't adore the way it finished, and found one character's departure a little abrupt and poorly thought out, I couldn't have thought of any better way to end it since to put the book down and say 'Sorry, I tried but it's not going to work' wasn't something Delilah would have done.

This is, for want of a better word, a pleasant book. It is not especially funny, nor is it risqué in the way some teenage work is, but instead it is sweet and inoffensive, as only fairytales can be. The plot developments and the various set backs Delilah and Oliver encounter help build the anticipation but the back and forth between the book within the book and the characters' perspectives stalls this somewhat so it never gets truly exciting or unputdownable.

Though the premise is an intriguing one, it was definitely the name on the cover that attracted me to his book. And yet this is Picoult like never before. There are no courtroom scenes, legal battles or dramatic plot twists here. There is still a decent amount of family drama and potential for heartbreak, but those aren't hallmarks exclusive to her. Co-written with her teenage daughter, whose idea the whole thing was in the first place, this is a book I'd call good but not great. If every teenage girl is looking for her prince, some would count Delilah lucky she found hers and he was as perfect and princely as one might dream. But she's very superficial in her judgements: she likes him because of his dashing good looks and the way he is a good listener, but there's nowhere else he can really go while she's talking to him so he's something of a captive audience. I thought he redeemed himself a bit with his loathing for his fictitious princess but I almost wished the ending had involved Delilah realising that her real life friends and family were more important than a one dimensional character in a book, no matter how handsome he is. I loved the idea of this book, but I only liked the delivery in the end, even taking into account the target audience.

This review first appeared on

I saw Between The Lines in Asda the other day at a nicely reduced price. It's only in hardback or Kindle form for now, but even the latter is reasonable because of the discount, and it's the sort of book that might perhaps be nicer

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Comments on this review

  • ladybracknell published 22/09/2012
    Excellent review with just enough information to make me want to read this. E!
  • Warpspeed published 22/09/2012
    Nice review!
  • catsholiday published 22/09/2012
    I do quite like her work and will no doubt get this sometime when I see it as a bargain!!
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Product Information : Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult

Manufacturer's product description

ISBN: 1444740962

Product Details

EAN: 9781444740967

Author: Jodi Picoult

ISBN: 1444740962

Title: Between the Lines

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


Listed on Ciao since: 09/07/2012