Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#21: Between the Lines (Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer)

on July 21, 2012

My favorite author is Jodi Picoult.  Every year, I anticipate the release of her latest book and rush to the store on the day of its release to add it to my growing collection.  When I saw that she and her daughter had written a young adult novel, I must admit that I was rather skeptical.  Part of Picoult’s appeal is her willingness to tackle controversial contemporary topics while allowing her characters to grapple with the moral issues that arise as a result.  I knew that many of her topics would not be considered appropriate for a young audience and I wasn’t sure how her writing would translate into the YA genre.

Imagine my surprise when I was transported inside a fairy tale in which the handsome prince desperately wants to escape his life in the book.  As Prince Oliver dreams of escape, his cry of help is finally heard by Delilah, a teen reader who has become obsessed with the child’s fairy tale.  Picoult and Van Leer proceed to weave a masterful tale combining two conflicting worlds united by the growing love of Oliver and Delilah.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting a look “behind the curtain” as the characters in the fairy tale lived life while the book was closed.  The idea of not judging a book by its cover suddenly took on an entirely new meaning.

Thematically, Between the Lines addresses pertinent contemporary issues admirably;  the power of love, the impact of a parent’s death, and the search for self-identity are clearly explored in a meaningful way for teen readers.  I anticipate that many junior high and high school classes will find the work a compelling story to consider along standards of the American literary canon.  Until that time, Between the Lines will be a wonderful book for mothers and daughters to enjoy together that will open doors for communication between parent and child.

4 out of 5 stars!


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