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Bibliophilic Monologues

Between the Lines

Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer There is a very famous play by Tom Stoppard called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The play deals with metaphysical elements of two-dimensional characters who question their existence and its cyclical nature. Between the Lines reminded me of that play. It, too, deals with a character in a fictional piece of work fighting against his existence or, perhaps, the lack of it. There are some very delightful illustrations accompanying the text – my favourite is the one where Prince Oliver is climbing the text. The premise is definitely promising and in the beginning, I was quite entertained by the novel.Unfortunately, it started unraveling for me after the first few chapters. While the exchanges between Delilah and Prince Oliver are engaging, Delilah herself is not a character I can empathize with or even relate to. I understand her love for reading but her fascination with one book to the point where she reads it over and over again consecutively is somehow not very believable. Maybe it’s just me. The thing that turned me off Delilah completely is the way she treats her best friend. How am I supposed to like a main character who throws away her only friend for a fictional character? Who doesn’t return her friend’s calls, ignores her entreaties to spend time together, lies to her – all for a guy who may or may not be able to change the medium of his existence. And then when we do get the requisite turning over a new leaf, will love you better and yay from Delilah, it is only for the express purpose of getting her friend to drive her somewhere – oh it’s not written as such but really, I read Between the Lines and yes, pun is intended.Another thing that pretty much sealed the deal where the book is concerned is Delilah’s comment about the mermaids. For some context, the mermaids are written as boy-loving when the book is being read but once the covers are closed, they do not care for men at all. Apparently, according to Delilah, this makes them “hard-core feminists.” Right. I do not understand what not liking men or thinking that you do not need a man to complete you as a person has to do with being a feminist. Feminism has very little to do with men. Hating men is not feminism. Not wanting to be in a relationship is also not a sign of feminism. Feminism is not, I repeat, a disease. God. This makes me so angry. Okay.Delilah is fifteen years old and from what I read, has not experienced life at all. She hasn’t met many people, has not had life altering experiences, has not lived and yet, she is talking about “destiny” and “fate” and meant to be together with you forever. Yep. Also, the ending is pretty ridiculous. I will not believe that a person would sacrifice so much so quickly. I don’t think so. It seemed too neat and too contrived.Conclusion? I cannot recommend this book to you because I didn’t like it. This is not saying that you shouldn’t read it – I don’t dictate what you read and what you don’t. I’m just saying that there are better books out there.