Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer “Between the Lines” (2016 Reading challenge – A book written by more than one author)

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                Ever heard of Jodi Picoult? I’m sure you have. I mean, who hasn’t? (I men, among those that have any interest in literature, that is). In case you haven’t, she’s a prolific American author whose books seem to be all bestsellers. I have read a few of her books, though, to be honest, the only one I remember is My Sister’s Keeper. That was a few years back when I had this phase of reading her novels. Nowadays I get impatient with most of them. Oh, well.

                So, apparently Jodi has a daughter and apparently this daughter is interested in writing. Once, she had this idea of writing a fairy tale of a kind, where a character from a book wants to get out of this book and starts living in the real world. Jodi – and/or the publishers – claim that it’s such an original and generally brilliant idea, and that she was so thrilled that her own daughter came up with it. So they wrote it together, and hence we have Between the Lines.

                Basically, there’s Delilah, a lonely outsider, who’s in love with a book. Not just any book. A fairy tale, by all means. Then we have Oliver, a handsome prince from this fairy tale. He sort of lives two lives. One is the life written by the author, the other starts every time a book is closed. Oliver is quite different after the book is closed, that what he’s portrayed in the story. So, he feels trapped in the book, with a great desire of getting out and go on living for real. There’s also a princess who’s in love with him, but he doesn’t love her back, and avoids her however he can.

                The book is written from tree points of view: Delilah’s point of view, the Oliver’s, and then there are fragments of the fairy tale itself.

So much for the composition.

To be honest, the notion that this idea was so extraordinary and freaking unheard of, made me a little mad. Because, to put it simply, it’s not original. It is, however, quite tempting. I mean, for a book lover, to be able to talk to your favorite characters is like a dream come true. No wonder I “fell for it.”

I just couldn’t get over the publishers and Jodi herself making it into some streak of a genius.

After I got over this fact, however, I could actually enjoy the book. Sure, it was full of clichés and pretty predictable at many points, but so what? A good cliché is not bad. From time to time. After all, that’s why we love them – because they prove to be entertaining. I liked that it was written from three points of view, though the fairy tale started to bore and even tire me somewhere in the middle. It also annoyed me that the main characters seem to fall in love “from the first sight” (love at first sight has annoyed me ever since I can remember). But I got over that as well.

If I was to summarize it with one phrase, though, I guess that would be “guilty pleasure.” Sort of like I know it’s not the best written book out there – far from it. I know that’s it’s for children/young teenagers, I know it doesn’t really tell too many important “life facts,” but I still enjoyed it.

Sort of a cute book, great for taking your mind off things.

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