„Between the Lines“ by Jodie Picoult & Samantha v. Leer
What happens when happily ever after… isn’t?
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.
First and foremost: look at how pretty a book this is! The wonderful fairy tale-like illustrations, the pretty silhouettes in every chapter, the parts of Oliver are written in blue, the parts of Delilah in purple… if for nothing else, you should buy this book because it is so pretty. (the pictures are from the German edition, but the English is just as pretty on the inside)
But of course there is more. The idea of a story being alive, a prince in a fairy tale who asks the reader for help is a very intriguing story, and in my opinion it was executed very nicely. I will probably never ‘just read’ or ‘just open’ a book again. I will always wonder, at the back of my head, what the characters might be doing when the book is closed, do they get along? Is the villain actually a good chef, who is really shy and likes to paint? Is he/she actually good friends with the main character? We will never know, because characters in books don’t talk to us, but in this story they do talk to Delilah in this story, and falling in love with the main character in a book suddenly gets a whole new perspective.
The only thing I didn’t quite warm up to was the style in which this book was written. It was written by Jodie Picoult and her daughter, which is a really nice idea. I loved the bits which were from the fairy tale itself, I haven’t read a proper fairy tale in a while, and I never read one in English, so those chapters were a really nice read. The other chapters from the perspective of the two main characters almost seemed too easy. Like they were aimed at a totally different age group, one a lot younger than me, and it didn’t feel like the main characters were fifteen. I also would have liked Prince Oliver to sound a bit more like a prince from a fairy tale. I think a lot of characterization happens through the voice of the characters, especially when they are the narrators. Sadly this story lacked that quite a bit.
But other than that, the story was a really nice read, it brought fairy tales back into my life which I am always thankful for. It’s nothing too complicated or too big, so if you are looking for something light and pretty, with a guaranteed happy end (it is a fairy tale after all), then this book is for you.