3.5 Stars Total: 4 Stars for Concept 3 Stars for Execution
I loved the idea of this book- that characters in a story have a life of their own once the bo3.5 Stars Total: 4 Stars for Concept 3 Stars for Execution
I loved the idea of this book- that characters in a story have a life of their own once the book is closed. It's a similar concept to one of my favorite books/series- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Perhaps because of that, I expected more from this book. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book. I just wouldn't call it a great book.
While reading Ink Heart I wished I could read the story within the story. However, Ink Heart itself did not suffer for not including it. It didn't feel like it was missing something. It's simply that the Ink Heart world Funke created was so great, that as a reader you wanted more of it-you wanted to read "the source" of that world. In Between the Lines, the reader is able to read most of the base story. However, I found myself nearly tempted to skip these parts and wished for more of the character/story development outside of the base fairytale. Unlike Ink Heart, Between the Lines did feel like it was missing something for not including more of this part of the story.
Between the Lines also seemed targeted at a younger audience than its stated YA classification. I know the base story is supposed to be a children's fairytale, but the whole book felt closer to a kid's book than a young adult novel.
I feel like this review is mostly negative. Again, it wasn't a bad book. It just wasn't the well-developed book I've come to expect from Picoult nor did it read as an engrossing young adult book. Still, it was a simple-fun-adventure. And the silhouette drawings were a unique touch.
Another reason I was drawn to this book was because Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha VanLeer wrote it together. As my mother and I are working on a joint project, I was curious to see if as a reader you could tell where one author left off and another began. Thus, for me, the book came with the added bonus of Picoult's introduction in which she discusses the actual process of writing the book with VanLeer.
Favorite quotes from the book:
"Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's any less true." ~Oliver
"He understood, in that crystalline instant, that courage wasn’t something you were bequeathed at birth, and it wasn’t a lack of fright. It was overcoming your fear, because the ones you love mattered more." ~Referring to Oliver in the book
"This was why there was music, he realized. There were some feelings that just didn’t have words big enough to describe them."
"The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home." ~Jessamyn Jacobs
"...Without even trying, Oliver makes me feel like a princess." ~Delilah
"I’ve never been in love, but I’ve always imagined it—weirdly—like some sort of OxiClean commercial. The TV host shows a scene from an ordinary day, and then takes a big old sponge soaked in love and swipes away the stains. Suddenly that same scene is missing all the mistakes, all the loneliness. The colors are like jewels, ten times richer than they were before. The music is louder and clearer. Love, the host will say, makes life a little brighter." ~Delilah
"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. So how do you tell an adult that maybe everything wrong in the world stems from the fact that she’s stopped believing the impossible can happen?" ~Delilah...more
I got this book from the Chautauqua Library bag sale in July 2014. I hesitated to add it to my Chautauqua shelf as it is not typical of their recommenI got this book from the Chautauqua Library bag sale in July 2014. I hesitated to add it to my Chautauqua shelf as it is not typical of their recommendations. It is the first book in the Anita Blake series that I've read. In fact, it is the first Laurell K. Hamilton I've read. And it does not leave a strong first impression in terms of writing ability. If this were the first book pitched in the series, I don't think it would have been published. In fact, I think it is only because the series is so well established that this book slipped through the cracks. It feels like an inkling of an idea with underdeveloped characters and interactions. Why did I keep reading and give it three stars? The book was an easy read and felt compulsory. I finished it in a little over 24 hours. This probably has more to do with my current state of mind than with the actual merits of the book, but a book is never read in a vacuum. If you need a book that will require minimal thought and remove you from your own world, than this is it. And the plot does pick up in the second half.
If you start with this book, as I have done, you will feel plunked down in the middle of the series. However, Hamilton gives just enough information to connect the dots of this other-world she has created. While I was reading, I wondered if this would be annoying to faithful readers of the series. I know that I have read many series where I started to get annoyed by the recap - I wanted a new book, not a rehash of the ones I'd already read. Looking at other reviews, this does seem to be the case here, so patrons of the series, be warned.
Hamilton provides an Afterword in which she describes her writing method and the inspiration for this book. The glimpse into her creative process is interesting, as is the exploration into various view points that is included. However, the moment that sparked this book is just that, a moment. Within the book itself, it does not feel full enough to support a complete novel. It works much better as an anecdote or the comic included in the last pages.
Overall, would I recommend the book? It's a bit like a cheap wine cooler. The quality isn't there, but it's not necessarily trying for it. Instead it offers a brief escape with some fun flavors. ...more
I love The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe but generally lose ambition when trying to read through the rest of the series. I have listened to some ofI love The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe but generally lose ambition when trying to read through the rest of the series. I have listened to some of them on audio which was more enjoyable. ...more
Quote: "So the wagons stopped, the horses were watered, and when the families looked, they found their shoes as well as their souls had sprouted roots.Quote: "So the wagons stopped, the horses were watered, and when the families looked, they found their shoes as well as their souls had sprouted roots." p. 8...more