What reader hasn't imagined herself into the pages of a much loved story? In the novel Between the Lines, Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper) and daughter Samantha Van Leer deliver an interesting twist: this time, the prince wants out.
Fifteen-year-old Delilah is obsessed with a book. Not a cool romance novel or science fiction, but a fairy tale meant for little kids. Her mother is worried. So is her best friend, Jules. But Delilah feels a connection to this storybook prince: "The very first thing you learn about Oliver is that it's not easy growing up without a dad. It was as if the words had been taken straight out of my mouth." Plus, Prince Oliver is smart, cute and he knows how to kiss. Delilah reads the story over and over, until one day an illustration in the book changes. The next thing she knows, she's talking to Oliver and... he's talking back.
The engagingly written novel moves from the storybook itself (with full-color illustrations as chapter openers) to Oliver (his narrative appears in blue type) and to Delilah (hers is in green type). The alternating chapters portray the budding romance between Oliver and Delilah, and juxtapose the fairy tale with the turmoil of contemporary high school. Plenty of obstacles keep this unlikely pair apart, yet they persevere through adventures with mermaids, accidents with wizards and a visit to a real-world psychiatrist. It's a fun romp that fans of both fairy tales and teen romance will enjoy. --Lynn Becker, host of Book Talk, the monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI. Review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers, reprinted with permission.Discover: From mother-daughter team Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer, a fun romp from fairy tale to the real world in search of true love.