{FTF Early Review} BETWEEN THE LINES by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

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. 
(pg. 11, US ARC Edition)


Have you also checked out today's fab interview with Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer?

I'm so excited to share an early review of BETWEEN THE LINES with you for FTF!  I've been looking forward to this novel for so long and was ecstatic to receive a copy early.  I wasn't disappointed, either.  BETWEEN THE LINES is everything I could want and more.  I love books that are about books, and this one really left me thinking.  What if characters really did have their own lives and personalities outside of the story?  What if they were trapped and bored?  What if the characters I write and bring to life resent the shape of the story they're acting in?  It gave me a lot of food for thought.

BETWEEN THE LINES weaves together three intersecting sections: One that features pages from a book entitled BETWEEN THE LINES, about a heroic prince named Oliver, complete with beautifully illustrated photographs, a second section in blue from the "real" Oliver's POV, and a third section in green from reader Delilah's POV.  Oliver is a unique book character because he knows he's inside a story...and he's not content to remain there.  He harbors no love for his princess in reality, but has fallen for a beautiful reader despite the fact that their worlds can never cross.  Delilah, on the other hand, is an ordinary girl in our world.  I loved seeing her talk about her homework and mentioning THE HUNGER GAMES, which is very current.  Delilah isn't like the other girls at school and obsesses over a children's picture book, wishing characters such as Oliver could be real.  When Delilah and Oliver find themselves able to communicate with one another, they try to find a way to be together in reality despite the odds stacked against them.

If you were following me on Goodreads, you saw me sharing a lot of quotes I liked as I was reading (And looking at it now, my spelling is atrocious.  I apologize and blame my cell phone with its itty-bitty keys!).  The story is absorbing, and I loved the creative ways used to show that Oliver was in the book from the way his world bent, to the way he could interact with letters (It brought Disney's WINNIE THE POOH to mind!) to the way he viewed Delilah as she read the pages of the book.  The novel was also gorgeously illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert and Scott M. Fischer.  My favorites are an image of Oliver at the very beginning (Which is Delilah's favorite as well) and an illustration of Oliver with three mermaids because, well, you know how much I love mermaids!  I also like the way smaller illustrations adorn the page such as when a bug moves from one world to the other.  I can't wait to see the final version of these images.  If you like novels about book characters such as INKHEART and STORYBOUND, you'll enjoy BETWEEN THE LINES.  Even though the novel doesn't feature a court room or the hard-hitting moral issues Picoult has become famous for, her debut YA is fun and refreshing and well worth the read.  I can't wait to see what Picoult and van Leer dream up together next!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like that this cover is contemporary in that there's a girl on the bed hugging a book, but also reveals that there's something more to the story.  The book she's hugging to her chest looks old.  She's holding a fairy wand.  She's a dreamer (You can tell just from the expression on her face and the light in her eyes!).  A shadowed castle lurks behind the title and author names in the background as one world merges into the other. I personally love this cover a lot!

The press release is exciting in and of itself, because the final version will look very different from the ARC.  I can't wait to see the interior design, because all of Oliver's sections will use blue ink, and all of Delilah's will be in green.  There's a lot of artwork interspersed throughout the novel, and I can't wait to see final images.
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer
Release Date: Out June 26, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Received: Received for Review


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.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale


  1. This sounds wonderful! And actually, Jodi P's characters usually feel like they've crawled into a book from the real world! I have to pick this one up!

  2. I cannot wait to read this one! Picoult is such a lovely writer.


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