Today, I’m proud of myself.
I started out with a big ol’ heap ‘a books two weeks ago. Normal, right? Yes, but not always do I get through that big ol’ heap before I have to return them. Today is different! I finished this heap, and I found a good mix of what I liked and what I didn’t even know I liked in it. As usual, I grabbed an assortment of books without reading the descriptions, because surprise. I call it the Schneider Variety Pack. My boyfriend was with me this time, and I assigned him with finding one book. Read Between the Lines was what he chose, because “the cover has a smiley face on it”. He’s a man of depth, that man of mine.
Read Between the Lines is interesting because it’s one of those books that holds many stories in one. We start with Nathan, the school punching bag with an abusive father and a crappy home life. During PE, Nathan breaks his middle finger, which is proudly displayed for all to see. He finds empowerment in it and soon others are laughing with him, not at him. We see a variety of characters all tied together and from different walks of life, like the popular cheerleaders Grace and Claire and the timid Ms. Lindsey. We get a glimpse into their lives and see that, like usual, nothing is as it seems. A powerful resolution from Ms. Lindsey ends the book, and it’s a treat to read up to the very end.
Books like these always pack a certain punch. It puts things into perspective that we really don’t know what’s going on with others, even if we think we have them labeled and placed into all the right categories. If you like getting attached to characters, I wouldn’t go for this one–each character gets around a chapter and then kaput, they’re out. However, because each is linked, it’s interesting finding the points of intersection. Another fun aspect? Flipping people off is constant in this book. Either someone is doing or receiving the bird, which I liked. It’s naughty and it’s funny, and I’ve got the sense of humor of an eleven year old boy, so that’s that.
Though its characters are from one singular place and the events happen in one singular day, this novel feels like much more. It did drag at some points, but the ending is worth it. I’d recommend it any day, so try it out if you feel up to it! And if you don’t, go and get a bag of brownie brittle and turn on Netflix to Grace and Frankie or whatever you prefer. I promise I won’t tell.