“Between the Lines” Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer

Simon Pulse. 2012. 352 pp.

BetweentheLinesOnce upon a Time, a Prince was born. Unfortunately Prince Oliver is a disgrace. He is a coward and afraid to go out to battle, having been gifted with Life instead of Bravery at his birth. He has gone through life avoiding conflict but when he is tricked into rescuing Seraphima, a beautiful damsel in distress he’s never met, he suffers through numerous adventures for her. True love wins, and they wind up living happily ever after. The End.

In the real version of the fairy tale, sixteen-year-old Oliver hates being a character in his own story and really despises Seraphima. He doesn’t love her but every time he tries to do something different, his world reverts to normal when The Reader opens the book. He does everything he can think of to get himself out of the story and noticed by a Reader, but nothing ever works. Imagine his surprise when modern reader, fifteen-year-old Delilah, actually hears him.

Delilah has always been an outcast, but believing a character in a book is talking to her takes Outcast to a new level. It’s only a matter of time until Oliver and Delilah fall in love, but how can it be true love when one person is real and the other is just a character in a book?

In alternate voices, interspersed with the actual telling of his Fairy Tale, Oliver and Delilah tell their individual stories of love and heartache. Readers aged 12 and older will commiserate with Delilah’s troubles at home and school, while also developing an understanding for Oliver’s dilemma. “Between the Lines” will change how we read books in the future as we’ll always wonder “what REALLY happens to the characters when we close the book?”

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