YA Lit: Between the Lines Offers Fantasy, Adventure, and Fun
Call it “the Twilight syndrome,” my absolute avoidance of young adult (YA) titles. It’s not that they’re revolting; it’s more a general ickiness. Books for adults, babies, children, toddlers, tweens—those are all fine, but when one gets to Edward and Bella territory, Miss Bob won’t be found. Well…at least until now.
One day a teenage daughter suggested an idea for a YA novel to her mother, a prolific best-selling novelist. Mother encouraged daughter, and this creative team ran with the idea, authoring Between the Lines, an unusual story that travels not only through time, but through possibility. The mother is Jody Picoult; the daughter is Samantha Van Leer. Together they have created a unique novel that asks—and answers--“What happens to literary characters, once the reader is done with a book?” Combining elements of humor, romance, adventure, and angst, Between the Lines is an imaginative story for readers who want something “a little different.”
Delilah is a fifteen-year-old girl who doesn’t quite fit in with her peers. She always comes in last on the swim team, gets closed in lockers, and is klutzy enough to keep injuring the most popular girl in school. That popular girl and her mean-girl posse make high school unbearable for Delilah, a high achiever who finds refuge in books. She lives with her single, cleaning-lady mom and misses having a father—hers took off for a new life when she was ten.
Finding a children’s fairy tale tucked away in her high school library, Delilah becomes absorbed in its story, and particularly in its central character, 16-year-old Prince Oliver, who she discovers is trying to communicate with her. It seems that Prince Oliver wants to escape the book—the same words and actions every time someone opens it—and experience the Otherworld.Continued on the next page