Read Between the Lines

Read Between the Lines

Featured Hot
 
5.0 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
4984   1
Write Review
Read Between the Lines
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 10, 2015
ISBN
978-0763663872
Buy This Book
      
Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a "big girl," she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines.

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (3)
Characters 
 
5.0  (3)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (3)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Shockingly Truthful: What can hide between the lines

All the reviews are right on the mark with this one! This is book to be read and put on the top of your "To Read" pile.

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said. Jo Knowles Read Between the Lines is hands down one of the best books of 2015.

There is always power in words, but often we give even more power to body language and gestures. This entire collection of voices, inspired by an incident Jo Knowles experienced when a man (with two small children in the car) gave her family the finger. It is a silent gesture that holds so much power. But Read Between the Lines explores this unspoken power of one finger and the secrets and hidden emotions that might lay hidden behind it.

The premise behind Read Between the Lines is that we've all been subjected to the one finger salute, whether we were on the receiving end or the one given it. Knowles takes this concept and intricately weaves an entire world around it- highlighting the lives of several high school students. Knowles allows the reader to become immersed into the lives, lies, and secrets of Nathan, Lacy, Dylan, Jack, Grace, Stephen, and Claire among others. Seeing the entire picture through multiple perspectives is key to this novel.

Not everything is as it is seems. These characters are real, their voices unique to their circumstances. At times the characters were brutally honest and others- hiding secrets; not only from their friends and the reader, but also from themselves. Like in life, some people change and grow while others remain stagnant and unchanging. But they share one thing in common-they all are affected by their life choice, by the people they encounter, by events beyond their control, and even by a single finger. It is one of the most authentic sets of voices I have seen in a very long time.

As a reader, you must hold back your own initial gut responses and not made judgments on what you simply see in a few moments or actions. You cannot make judgments based on assumptions. I found myself loving characters, then hating them, and then feeling guilty that I too had jumped to conclusions about who they were as people.– In all truth, even in real life, no one should judge anyone- going back to the old saying, “ Don’t judge a person until you walked a mile in their shoes.”

The entire story centers around a few days in the lives of high school students. It is hard at times to remember that theses characters are in deed fictional. They harken back to people and friends I have known. Each chapter is from a different point of view, yet they all connect. It was fun to read each section and try and guess how each story connected. Read Between the Lines is a riveting book I just couldn’t put down. And at the same time I was sad to say goodbye to all these new people I had just gotten to know. The entire book builds up to the last few pages- it is shocking and left me in complete awe of Jo Knowles and how artfully she crafted this story.

This book leaves me thinking and looking inward as well. It has been a long time since a book has done this. It reminds me that everyone has a story to tell and we don’t always get the whole picture. What we see on the outside- there is probably a lot more going on inside that we cannot even fathom. This book truly changed me- and that makes this read incredible!

I truly believe this is a must read for adults and young adults alike, fans of contemporary fiction, John Green and Rainbow Rowell, will find a kindred spirit in Jo Knowles. Even if contemporary fiction isn’t always your “cup of tea”. Take time and read Read Between the Lines, it is sure to make the top best books of 2015. Read it!

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Reading Between the Lines

To say I enjoyed the ARC of Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles would be an understatement. This beautiful, heartbreaking, and eye-opening read was simply amazing and I feel so blessed that I was able to read it early!

By the end, I felt as if I could hear the voices of all ten characters (yes there are ten), each of them narrating just one day, in one high school. Yet, each story felt universal and I truly believe there is wisdom and understanding waiting for anyone who indulges in this story.

The notion of having ten chapters from ten separate characters seems daunting. Yet, Knowles provides a lovely cast of characters that feel complete. There is a sense of satisfaction as the story plays out and the pieces of the puzzle are revealed. I certainly felt this way, trying to figure out how they all connected.

I absolutely adore a multiple character structure. Usually in a first person narrative, what the character says the reader must take at face value. If they say someone is bad, we believe them. But in this story, each time a character said they didn't like another for x, y, or z reasons, the logic behind the animosity was turned upside down. By the time I got to the other character's chapter I couldn't help but start to see things from their point of view and it led toward a sympathetic response to all ten characters.

Notably, each chapter relies on the next to weave together a complex story of discovery, love, and hope. It's breathtaking. Starting in gym class, it's as if Knowles has summoned the uncomfortable, anxious ghosts of high school's past to give a glimpse into our first character's life. With an injury to the middle finger, this character kicks off a domino effect from one middle finger to another, connecting each character. But it's more than just seeing someone flip the bird (or doing it themselves) that connects these characters. Though they might not always be able to see it, or understand it, each of them is connected by the people they know, the things they've done, and are willing to do. And that's fantastic!

Jo Knowles seems to understand the pain of being misunderstood, the complete loneliness that comes from being in a group of friends who might not really know you. She recognizes the want to be understood and I think it's because that want doesn't ever really go away. There's this heightened need to fit in while roaming youth-filled halls, but it's just the same for everyone. I'm not sure anyone has had the same bullying experience as some of these characters, and maybe the author was never bullied like her characters, but she makes the reader feel as if she understands.

In a world where nobody seems to "get it" this is so profound. She speaks through words and events and characters that might not have been her own experiences in high school, but they are filled with rich emotion and belief that there is something better beyond the landscape of adolescence. I want to believe that hope comes from understanding others as much as one's self. Being able to empathize with people is a true gift, one I'm sure Knowles advocates for each of her fictional friends as well as those of us who exist in the real world.

I started thinking of my own bullies from high school, wondering what their real stories were and even are today. It's taken me a long time to get to this point. But reading this book made me hopeful for others who've been or who might be in a similar situation. If I'd read this back then, I think it might've been easier to let those wounds heal and to move on.

Understanding is something I'm still striving for. Jo Knowles teaches this philosophy of reading between the lines, as referenced by the book's title, and I think it has to do with looking past the surface of what's happening to what's hidden from sight. It's about realizing we don't know everything about everyone and making the effort to try to understand them anyway.

There's something to be said of books that speak to you, but more about those that really make you listen. This was one of those books that made me listen not only to its words, but also to my present self, letting the me from high school know that it gets better. And it does, it really does. I have no doubt that anyone who encounters this book will be changed. Whether you're navigating the hallways of high school right now or simply remembering them, I urge you to pick this book up!

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Read Between the Lines

I'm a huge fan of Knowles's YA novels. She nails the voice of teens without being preachy or patronizing. Her latest READ BETWEEN THE LINES takes a common rude gesture and shows how it affects some in this one small town.

This novel is more a series of stories revolving around not only teens but one teacher. We see and feel the pain of not being accepted as 'good' enough by not only our peers but our parents. Also we feel the shame and embarrassment of how a couple teens live(their mother is a hoarder). Or the confusion that arises from dealing with sexuality. Add to that the teacher who really wanted her high school classes to be more like a modern day TO SIR WITH LOVE but instead they resent her for taking over the class of the former teacher who met with a tragic end.

All of the characters do share one thing: either they or someone else gave them the bird. Their reactions vary but all the stories cumulate into the final story that shows that under all the negativity, defend, and sadness there might be a hidden grain of hope.

I loved the story behind the inspiration for this novel. Who hasn't been flipped off? Knowles takes one crude gesture and spins her magic to create a novel that is sure to resonate and stay with you.

A must read for Knowles fans and those who love engaging, heart-felt stories with realistic characters that give us a glimpse not only into their worlds but our own.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights
By her fourteenth birthday, Babe Killingsworth measures 6ʹ9ʺ and weighs...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the latest...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Truman
After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Day the Universe Exploded My Head: Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
Hang on tight for a raucous bounce through the solar...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fallen Empires (Cleopatra in Space #5)
Cleo goes into hiding after a mysterious death at Yasiro...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Season
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued; in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Exact Opposite of Okay
Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend,...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Girl Gone Viral
For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Patron Saints of Nothing
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
This Time Will Be Different
For fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant
This honest, laugh-out-loud novel brimming with body positivity, bite-sized nuggets...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Carnival Catastrophe (The Problim Children, #2)
All siblings are capable of magic if they stick together....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
As Far as the Stars
Christopher is the sort of guy that no one...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Virtue of Sin
Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
OverRun (The OverRuled Series, book 2)
TWO LIVES BOUND BY ONE LIE. Magic has consequences—...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1)
Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean
 
5.0
"THE ASTRONAUT WHO PAINTED THE MOON is the true story of Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the..."
A Place for Turtles
 
5.0
"Books like this need to be written and read. Turtles are beautiful animals, but they have a hard time..."
Superlative Birds
 
4.7
"SUPERLATIVE BIRDS is an interesting read. Each spread features an illustrated bird with a superlative, such as “smelliest” or “longest..."
Origami Bible Stories For Kids
 
5.0
"They really thought of everything. This origami kit is more than just folding paper, every part of it..."
Baby Astronaut (Baby Scientist)
 
5.0
"In a cute board book, older infants and toddlers are introduced to outer space and space exploration. BABY ASTRONAUT teaches..."
Lost in Outer Space: The Incredible Journey of Apollo 13 (Lost #2)
 
5.0
"Thrilling and epic, LOST IN OUTER SPACE tells the harrowing story of the Apollo 13 mission as they learn that..."
Lost in the Pacific, 1942 (Lost #1)
 
4.3
"LOST IN THE PACIFIC, 1942 is a true story of survival. During World War II, a plane is on a..."
Lost in the Amazon (Lost #3): A Battle for Survival in the Heart of the Rainforest
 
5.0
"LOST IN THE AMAZON is the incredible true story of a plane crash survivor who survived in the Amazon rainforest..."
Pre-K Extra Big Skills Workbook: Ready for Reading (Scholastic Early Learners)
 
5.0
"READY FOR READING is a great way to introduce reading to your preschooler. The tasks start off simple like finding..."
Rocket Man: The Mercury Adventure of John Glenn
 
4.3
"Not only was John Glenn the first person to orbit the Earth, a military veteran, and politician, but he was..."
Dream Big
 
5.0
"DREAM BIG is a celebration of life and achievement. Featuring simple language and bright, colorful illustrations of famous women, this..."
Baby Oceanographer (Baby Scientist)
 
5.0
"This adorable board book uses simple language to explain ocean-related concepts to older infants and toddlers. From the animals that..."
20 Recipes Kids Should Know
 
5.0
"20 RECIPES KIDS SHOULD KNOW is written by children, so it's appealing for children. The recipes include ones that any..."
Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany
 
4.7
" The Summer Olympics will take place again in July 2020, and all eyes will turn to Tokyo, Japan as..."
I Wish I Was a Polar Bear
 
4.3
"Did you know that polar bear adults live alone? Or that the only enemies polar bears have are other polar..."
I Wish I Was a Wolf
 
4.3
"In this beginning leveled reader, we are introduced to how wolves live. From packs to dens, short, easy sentences describe..."
Share Your Smile: Raina's Guide to Telling Your Own Story
 
4.3
"In this how-to book, complete with pages for readers to take notes and doodle, Telgemeier gives practical hints on the..."
Hello, World! Moon Landing
 
5.0
"This charming and informative book introduces the details of the first trip to the moon in 1969. HELLO, WORLD! MOON..."
Kindergarten Skills Workbook: Counting to 100
 
5.0
"'Counting to 100,' a Scholastic workbook meant for kindergarten preparation, does a fine job of engaging young children and making..."
Lost in the Antarctic: The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance
 
5.0
"LOST IN THE ANTARCTIC takes you on the doomed, yet brave journey of the ship called the Endurance and its..."