Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer
I have no idea why I enjoyed that so much.

I found the premise fairly interesting, so I decided to read it, but I wasn't expecting that much out of it, since I really dislike most YA romance.

And from the get-go, all the red flags were raised. Delilah is pretty stereotypical, as teen protagonists go. She loves reading, is a loner, everybody at school hates her, etc. Oliver is better, but not much, although he does make some pretty big mistakes that steer him fairly well out of the Gary-Stue territory.

Furthermore, most of this book is written in first person present tense, switching between the viewpoint of Oliver and Delilah. Normally, I have two problems with this.

1. I hate present tense. I can get through it, but it's always distracting.
2. Often with YA I can't actually tell the main character's voices apart and I wind up confused when they change viewpoints. Not always, but often.

Neither of those things happened. Both voices were clear and distinct. I was especially surprised that I wasn't distracted by the present tense, since not only is it in present tense, the chapters that tell the story of the book Oliver is from are in past tense, and whenever they switch between the two it normally bothers me. But it didn't here. In fact, I didn't even notice it was in present tense until 75% of the way through the book, which shocked me. It was written that well.

And that's really what it comes down to. On the surface, it feels rather flimsy. I kept telling myself "these characters aren't, critically-speaking well-rounded. So why am I enjoying this so much?" Somehow, the writing is just delightful enough that all of that is overcome and the characters just spring off the page. It's a cute, delightful read, and definitely for younger readers. The illustrations are lovely as well, although I couldn't appreciate them fully because I was reading on a Kindle.

I'll admit, I wasn't crazy over the ending, not because it felt unearned but because I'm pretty sure (spoilers) Edgar's mom would be devastated over losing her son.

Regardless, it was a delightful read. I don't think I've ever had a reading experience quite like it. Will definitely be reading the second one!