Sunday, April 12, 2015

Look Closer: Read Between the Lines

Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
Candlewick Press, 2015

*ARC provided by the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2015 - thank you! This in no way impacted my opinions of this book.*

There are some books that I will always be a sucker for, that will always peak my interest, and when I first read about Read Between the Lines, the newest novel by Jo Knowles, two of my favorite things made the list: multiple points of view and an entire book that takes place in one day. Over the course of nine chapters, readers temporarily enter the lives of nine different people. Many of them are students at the same high school, one is an alumni, and one is a current teacher. It's one ordinary day, at least on the surface, but readers can see that people often have much bigger impacts on the lives of others than we realize.

Knowles' prose is particularly strong in that each chapter could probably stand on its own as a short story, however the stories are intricately overlapped and weaved together in a realistic fabric. The villain of one chapter may be the hero in another. Point of view is powerful, and enforces the idea that truth may not be as black and white as we'd like it to be because perspective - literally and metaphorically - can change everything.

I know that this review is not terribly specific, but I don't want to give away specifics that could spoil this book for potential readers. With each chapter focusing on someone else, this was a very quick read. On the flip side of this, I didn't feel like I necessarily got to know some characters particularly well or make connections with them because I wasn't with them for a prolonged period of time. This is a good buy for libraries, and a thought provoking look at how people impact the lives of others, especially when we're not looking.

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

Jo Knowles' Website
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