Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

What if there was a character who wanted to escape the pages of his book? How far would he go to live among readers?

Between the Lines tells the story of Prince Oliver, who wants to do just that. He’s lived in a book for as long as he can remember, and doesn’t see magic in it anymore. He wants something new and exciting, because his life has been programmed to always follow the words of the book.

between the lines

Oliver has several reasons for his restlessness, including:

  • Boredom—he is tired of finding himself on Page 1 each time a Reader opens the book.
  • He does not care for the love interest, Seraphima, but has to pretend in scenes where they kiss.
  • It irritates him, seeing how content his friends have become. They don’t wonder about the outside world.

But he never actually thought it possible to leave the book. It seemed pointless to even try. Then a new Reader becomes hooked on Oliver’s story.

When Delilah finds the book in her school library, the story becomes a refuge from the complications in her life. Oliver falls for Delilah so deeply, he gets her to notice him! Then he begs for help escaping the book, and they start experimenting.

Is it possible to change a story once it’s put in ink? Can a character’s will be strong enough to outsmart the book?

This is a charming story because of the questions it makes you ask. How many times have you wished a character could hang out with you? How many times have you wanted to live among the pages with them?

Between the Lines captures the wonder of good story, the pull which keeps us turning pages.

It may be impossible for characters to leap off the page, but this story gives us a comforting thought: If they had the choice to join us, some would without thinking it twice. Some would fight to live with us, just as we long to be near them.

Between the Lines pulls us into a realm where ink isn’t a barrier. In this realm, there is hope that one day readers and characters could meet.

I recommend this book to fans of faery tales and romance—but really, it’s great for any reader who’s fallen in love with fictional characters. Oliver’s story will give you much to think about, and it will make you smile.

Review: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult


I probably should have waited before reading Off the Page; I only learned after devouring half the book that it was a sequel, and I was missing out on a great deal of the story. Fortunately, this fact didn’t keep me from enjoying the book; I finished it in love with the characters and settings.

Off the Page chronicles Delilah’s life after she gets her storybook prince out of the book. It isn’t a traditional happily ever after; it’s not simple and it isn’t always pretty. She has to teach her overly polite boyfriend how to survive in a world where people aren’t polite; he gets into a lot of trouble at school. There is an amusing scene where he makes a mess trying to use the washer.

The story was well thought out, but some of the transitions to scenes within the storybook felt cheesy and abrupt. At times they didn’t mesh together well. However, it only took some adjusting before I could get back to enjoying the read.

This book was the perfect read for my California trip. I devoured it during the long drives from place to place, making it part of my own fairy tale. It helped set the mood as I wandered a city so different from my own.

Off the Page will make you smile and question what matters in life, fairy tale or not. It also drills in the importance of readers for the survival of a book. Without readers, a book doesn’t come alive; it sits dusty on a shelf.

I recommend Off the Page, but I need to go back and read Between the Lines. Then I can fully appreciate the story told and how it began–when a reader fell in love with a character.