Jodi Picoult has co-authored this book with her daughter and this fairy tale is known to be aimed to be targeted more towards YA readers. Still, I did enjoy it, quite a lot!
15 year old Delilah is a social pariah and loves book, fairy tale called “Between the Lines” in particular. Oliver, the main character in the book, is a Prince and he can actually talk to Delilah. Some of you might already have rated this as a stupid, childish idea for a book. But, I would say that inspite of this, the novel was still readable and enjoyable for me.
All the characters in the fairy tale of Oliver do what the author has written for them and Oliver specifically feels he is trapped. He doesn’t want to be a part of the book’s world and talks to Delilah. The teenage love blossoms between a normal girl and a Prince from a fairy tale. How fascinating the whole thing is 🙂
Book is narrated in parts by Delilah, Oliver and then the story of the Prince is narrated by the author. So frequent switching between narrations but still the book’s flow was so smooth and natural. I was completely engrossed in the fairy tale as well as enchanted by their conversations and attempt to bring Oliver out of the book! And yes they finally do it. Oliver waiting on Page 43 whenever Delilah opened it, their experiment to bring a spider out of the book (which actually came out as letters ‘s-p-i-d-e-r’) Deliah actually going inside the book and spending some time in the kingdom..it was all so cool! The characters in the book all move around, chat but for the reader they do what the author makes them to do! It’ completely unbelievable but then so many things/people around us are. It has lot of pictures which makes it more interesting!
It has mermaids, trolls, human cursed to be a dog, prince, castles like all other fairy tales! But lots more … the book made me think about so many of us who feel trapped, be it in a job or in a relationship. People who have realised they are not happy where they are and are continuously struggling to find their “own” world. We behave, not as our own individual selves, but as if we are also written as part of a story and have been given some lines to speak, some actions to do. Sometimes we don’t even realise what we want and can have. We forget to be in our own world. Not many of us have courage to even try, some of us get discouraged at failed attempt, some accept it as fate and learn to live with it. But, only few are as lucky as Oliver who keep on trying and eventually get what they want! I, or almost no-one in this world, is alien to this feeling! I consider this fairy tale as a tale which almost everyone can relate to.
Some lines from the fairy tale:
“Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it’s any less true.”
“The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home.”
“Everyone deserves a happy ending.”
“No one ever asks a kid for her opinion, but it seems to me that growing up means you stop hoping for the best, and start expecting the worst.”
“Here’s what no one ever tells you about love: it hurts, having your heart broken”
“Sometimes the key to happiness is just expecting a little bit less”
“Home is not a place, but rather, the people you love”
“I think her flaws make me love her even more. She’s not perfect, but she’s perfect to me”
“This was the reason there was music, he realized. There were some feelings that didn’t have words big enough to describe them.”
“May I ask you something?” I say. “Why do you read books, when you could be outside, living a million different adventures every day?”
“Because you can always count on a book to stay the same. Everything else changes when you least expect it,” she replies, bitter. “Families split apart, and nothing’s forever. In books, you always know what’s coming next. There are no surprises.”
“Being a teenager isn’t all that different from being part of someone else’s story. There’s always someone who thinks they know better than you do”