Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, so I was immediately intrigued by the idea that she wrote Between the Lines with her teenage daughter Samantha van Leer. Even though I don’t read a ton of young adult novels, I was curious to see how well Jodi’s writing style translated to this market.
I’ve heard some people say they think this book was nothing more than a publicity stunt and that Samantha was listed as an author in name only. Although I don’t know the family personally, I feel like this book reads a bit differently than Jodi’s other novels.
While I am sure Samantha benefited from her mom’s fame and assistance getting the book published, I think the story itself seems like something a teenage girl would come up with. And, since Jodi has been a professional writer for all of her daughter’s life, it doesn’t seem unrealistic to me that Samantha would inherit some of her mom’s talent.
The basic premise of Between the Lines is that Delilah, a shy teenage girl, has discovered that the prince in her favorite fairy tale is actually a person who has been trapped inside the story.
Delilah desperately wants to be the one who frees Prince Oliver to join the real world and Oliver has developed his own crush on Delilah. But, when her mom discovers her fascination with the book, Delilah gets sent to a psychiatrist who is convinced she’s imagining the entire thing as a coping mechanism for dealing with her father’s absence.
The illustrations in this book caught me a little off guard, since most of the books written for teens aren’t illustrated. But, the illustrations are beautifully done and do help set the overall “fairy tale” mood for the story.
Between the Lines is just the sort of quirky, slightly romantic story I would have loved as a young teen. Even as an adult, I found it to be a fun and enjoyable read with just enough philosophical questions to keep me guessing what would happen next. I hope that Jodi and Samantha plan to collaborate on more books in the future.
Photo credit: Amazon