Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Read Between The Lines

Jo Knowles books are usually ones I am still talking about long after I have finished the last page. Read Between the Lines is definitely one of those books, but for different reasons than the others I've read by Knowles.


Each chapter focuses on a different person, and although this took me some time to get into, I appreciated how these people appeared in the lives of other characters in other chapters.  

And as each chapter is told, it is easy to see that there is more to each person than what others are seeing. The central theme "read between the lines" begins in the first chapter as Nate's middle finger is broken in gym class and he is essentially giving people the finger as his middle finger is swollen and permanently raised.  The "read between the lines" theme continues throughout, making an appearance in each character's story, ending with Ms. Lindsey in the last chapter, a teacher who realizes she must read between the lines and look for what she isn't seeing right away in each of her students. 

There were parts of Read Between the Lines that I really enjoyed - especially the way Knowles managed to interweave the characters and show how their lives and decisions affected each other.  But, it was hard for me to connect with every character, and often once I did, it was time to move to the next chapter when a new character was the focus.  

Still, despite that drawback, Knowles writing is wonderful, and her book will provide a lot for readers to think about.  This one is a title intended for an older audience - high school, I think - and might make a good novel for a lit. class to read and discuss.

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