Between The Lines
Straying far away from hot-button issues and courtrooms, popular New York Times Bestselling author Jodi Picoult has teamed up with her teenage daughter Samantha Van Leer to pen a magical Young Adult fantasy novel sure to delight and inspire younger readers.
The legend goes that while Picoult was on a book tour, her daughter was daydreaming in class about a Prince trapped inside a fairy tale. She called up her mother and told her she had a great idea for a book and Picoult suggested they write it together. Sitting side by side, mother and daughter crafted Between the Lines - a sometimes familiar, always fun, and often inventive twist on a fairy tale, as well as a love story about the power of books.
Delilah is that girl in school that has her nose in a book and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the student body. Not an ugly girl, she hides behind frumpier clothes and doesn’t put herself out there in order to endear her to her peers. She has a best friend Jules - a goth/punk-type - whose appearance doesn’t really help Delilah’s status as the school weirdo. She lives with her single mother in a typical suburban house with no other siblings. Her one source of true comfort and escape, however, are books - particularly one book that she continually takes out of the school library; a fairy tale called "Between the Lines" written by former mystery writer Jessamyn Jacobs. The story tells of a Prince Oliver who must save the beautiful Princess Seraphima from the evil and scarred Rapscullio. Along with his trusty horse Socks and best dog-friend Frump, Prince Oliver saves the day and he and Seraphima marry on the beach surrounded by fairies and mermaids and a cast of other fairy-tale creatures.
But there’s a twist.
Unbeknownst to Delilah, every time she closes the book, the characters within that book are suddenly able to break character and go about living completely different lives. For example, the evil Rapscullio is actually a kind and talented baker. Socks is a narcissist with body dysmorphia. And Prince Oliver, well, he just wants to get out of the book so he can make his own adventures. You see, only when the book is open does the story of "Between the Lines" take place. When the book is closed, the characters go about doing other things until the book is open once again and they are swiftly sucked onto whatever page the reader is on. There, they continue telling the story. The same way. Every time.
But Prince Oliver wants to figure a way out. And when he absently forgets to erase a chess board he’s drawn into the sand as he and Frump await the call to take their places - Delilah sees the change. She notices the drawing in the book isn’t like it was before. And soon enough, she realizes the book is changing before her eyes.
Before long, Prince Oliver finds himself able to communicate - on page 43 - with Delilah. There, he hangs on the side of a cliff in a particularly exciting adventure sequence that is in mid-action. Surprised Delilah can hear him, the two begin to converse which is when a number of amazing things happen.