In her first foray into teen fiction, Picoult and her co-author daughter deliver an enjoyable, metafictive twist on the traditional teen-romance novel.
Delilah is a 15-year-old, self-professed loner who would rather have her head buried in a book than gossip about boys or play fashion police in the halls between classes. But it’s not just any book that Delilah wants to lose herself in; it’s an obscure fairy tale called Between the Lines with a dashing young prince who literally comes to life before her very eyes. Prince Oliver is equally captivated with Delilah, and the two embark on a quest to find a way and a world in which they can finally be together. Told from Delilah and Oliver’s alternating points of view, this take on the traditional star-crossed-lovers tale will make for a light read for those preteens and early teens who aren’t looking for more mature, emotionally complex love stories. Book lovers in particular are likely to get a kick out of the blurring of the lines between character and reader, fact and fiction. Periodic illustrations from the fairy tale Between the Lines function well as reminders of Oliver’s fictive “reality,” but others, too closely resembling clip art, are distracting and out of place.
Fizzy fairy-tale fun. (Fantasy. 9-13)