You guys already know I like fantasy books, so I had to read this one!
“This was why there was music, he realized. There were some feelings that just didn’t have words big enough to describe them” (pg 230).
In Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer (352 pages), Deliah Mcphee is a total social outcast and only finds solace in her favorite kids’ fairytale Between the Lines. On the other side of reality, in that very book, Prince Oliver knows there’s more to life than rehearsing the lines of his book. Deliah wants a new life and Oliver wants to leave his book, and, of course, chaos ensues.
If I am to be perfectly honest, the book started off corny. However, the concept of self-aware fairytale characters was intriguing and managed to capture my interest early on.
“Brightening, I smile at her. ‘Look at how much we already have in common.’
“She smirks. ‘Yeah. Like, for example, I’m talking to a book, and you think you’re alive. We’re both insane’ (pg 53).
I wasn’t enthusiastic about Deliah’s narrative because she was so boring. I’ve just seen the “misunderstood high school girl” too many times to not have anything special added to her. Also, I don’t know why but I found the real life references cringy, like “Cinderella in Starbucks.”
“It hits me with the force of a blow: the understanding that I’d rather die than know I might never have a chance to truly, finally, kiss Deliah Mcphee” (pg 86).
This story had plenty of corny moments, like all fairytales, but they generally elicited the desired effects, an “aww” or an eye-roll.
But I loved the illustrations and the colorful fonts because it truly gave a storybook feel. I enjoyed the grueling process it took to get Oliver out the book. It definitely wasn’t easy, and something unexpected happened!
To me, the long-awaited kiss scene was pretty lackluster! I don’t know… Considering the book’s recommended for 12 and up (honestly, nothing in the book was bad enough to garner that rating; it was innocent), I expected the kiss to be more detailed. It had all the intensity of a grandma kiss.
I like normal girl characters (everyone can’t have magic, superpowers, or super abilities) but Deliah was terribly boring. This is not to say I wasn’t sympathetic to her horrid school life.
There’s not much to say about Oliver. He’s just our male lead.
Jules was cool! I just wished Deliah hadn’t ignored her only friend so much, but it added need tension I guess. This was one chill girl and a decent female friend, which is sometimes lacking in YA fiction.
I liked Edgar the most even though he was only there for like five to six chapters.
All the kids at Deliah’s school fit the perfect American high school typecasts: jock, snobby popular girl, rebellious punk rocker, geek kids, etc. I didn’t like any of them.
Also, the mermaids in Oliver’s world were not what I would call feminists but that’s how they were labeled, which might ruffle some feathers.
Eh, I found Between the Lines a bit lackluster (I give it 2 stars) yet I will definitely be reading the sequel. Hopefully, I will like the next book better because that’s when the real story starts.
Thanks for reading!