Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer


What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.


Publication date: June 26th 2012 by Simon Pulse 

The Elliott Review:

Jodi Picoult is one of my literary idols. I love every single thing that she has written, so when I heard about her young adult book co-written with her daughter, I seriously started getting withdrawal shakes even though I hadn't yet experienced the book. As it turns out, since Jodi Picoult already has a ton of stories dealing with the gritty facts of life, many of them with teen protagonists, she has no need to create a young adult book with the same feel. This book is completely different from all of her others.

First of all, I LOVED the whimsical feel that exists throughout the story. This story is filled with the idea that once the author brings life to a character through writing, the character does have a life of his/her own despite having to continuously act the part they have been given by the author. We get to see pieces of the original fairy tale that Prince Oliver is a part of as well as his perspective and Delilah's perspective.

Prince Oliver decides he wants more, and his chance to get more occurs when Delilah finally notices that he isn't what he appears at first sight. I found myself desperately rooting for them as they attempt to get him out of the book in various ways. Everything is very light-hearted but extremely well-written and interesting. I kept thinking that this would make a wonderful movie and kind of saw it as a movie in my head. It has the "anything can happen" feel that is perfect for a story dealing with fairy tale themes.

The drawings scattered throughout bring another element to the story. Part of the reason I was so in love with Oliver is because of the awesome pictures of him and his adventures.

Source: ALA

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Elliott Review on Facebook

I've been getting back into blogging, and I've decided to resurrect my much-neglected Facebook site for this blog... If you want to receive updates on Facebook, click the image below:

I promise everything will be book and author related, and I'm not going to post 800 bazillion things!!! I look forward to Fbooking it out with some of you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Insurgent (Divergent 2) by Veronica Roth


One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Publication date: May 1st 2012 by HarperTeen 

The Elliott Review:

Divergent was essentially about Tris rising above her restricted background while learning how to become a bad-ass and falling in love with an epically amazing and tortured-soul guy (aka, my favorite kind of guy). Insurgent takes their story above and beyond the typical love story and stretches it into something uncomfortable but so much more than average.

I'll be honest, since I read the ARC of Divergent forever ago, I had to re-read it in order to keep up with the fast-paced beginning of Insurgent. I'm really glad I did simply because I LOVE Divergent. I love how Four and Tris relate to each other, how their relationship forms. Since Insurgent picks up the story directly after the simulation that left members of Dauntless unwilling murderers, Tris and Four find themselves in a position that most couples would never experience - having to wage a different kind of war, completely unsure of who is trustworthy.

This book continues with Veronica Roth's amazing writing style and character development that I absolutely love, so I felt that I was in trustworthy hands right from the start despite my innate suspicion of second books in a series. I'm glad I felt safe to trust the author's direction because many of the events made me, for lack of a better word, uncomfortable. I've spent so long loving the Four and Tris that I remember from Divergent... But Insurgent is all about the layers within each person. I had to discard a lot of what I thought I knew about both of these characters in order to accept their actions. Their relationship is repeatedly tested as they have to adapt to the changing world around them. Since both of them are Divergent, their actions aren't so cut and dried, and they have to make unlikely alliances in order to uncover the truth.

This book is definitely brilliant, and I can't wait to see the direction that the last book of the trilogy will take. Now that the factions have basically broken apart in one way or another and a startling truth is discovered, I am dying to see how the situation will be resolved. I wonder just how far everyone will have to go.

Young Adult Notes:

Some violence, mild sexual scenes, brief mention of suicide, etc.

Source: Purchased