Sunday, July 22, 2012

BETWEEN THE LINES by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

Author Jodi Picoult and her teenage daughter Samantha Van Leer have written a book together.  Based on an idea Samantha pitched to her mother, BETWEEN THE LINES is a great way to introduce YA readers to Picoult.

Delilah would love to spend all her time reading and avoid the disappointing real world as much as possible.  Recently, she has been hooked on what most people would say she is too old to be reading.  She has been reading a fairy tale called Between the Lines.  In fact she has been reading and re-reading it so much she has it memorized. 

One day while reading page 43 where the hero of the story, Prince Oliver, is scaling a rocky cliff, Delilah is startled to see the words "help me" scratched onto the page where there hasn't been anything before.  Beginning with that message, she finds herself able to communicate with Oliver.  He speaks with her from the pages of his story, and she is able to chat with him from wherever she is reading the book.

Delilah quickly learns that Oliver's "help me" is an appeal to be released from the pages of the book.  He wants more than anything to be able to leave those pages and live a real life.  Delilah finds Oliver extremely attractive and just the answer to her own loneliness.  Together, the two try to figure out how a fictional character might be released from the printed page.

BETWEEN THE LINES takes readers into both worlds - Delilah's reality and Oliver's fictional story of dragons and damsels in distress.  The magical idea that characters in a book are meant to playact their story when the pages are open but go back to their own interesting activities when the book is closed, offers a fascinating concept for readers to consider.  I may never look at characters the same way again.

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