Customer Reviews for

Outside the Lines

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

An inside look of mental illness

Outside the Lines is a book that grabs the reader from page one. Early on I was invested in Eden and her search for her father. I wanted Eden to reconnect with David in order for her to heal from the void his absence had created. With each new clue to his whereabouts...
Outside the Lines is a book that grabs the reader from page one. Early on I was invested in Eden and her search for her father. I wanted Eden to reconnect with David in order for her to heal from the void his absence had created. With each new clue to his whereabouts, I found myself filled with emotion: excited that she may see him again, but yet fearful that David's story may not have a happy ending.

Hatvany tells the story of David and Eden in both their voices, which was the strength of the novel for me. Chapters alternate from the past to the present as David and Eden take turns narrating. Hatvany's transitions are so smooth, that I quickly adjusted and did not have to rely on the chapter headings to inform me if it was David or Eden, past or present.

Reading David's struggles with staying on his medication and trying to live a "normal" life in his voice was refreshing. I don't think I would have been as captivated with him had I read about him from Eden's (or her mother's) perspective. Hatvany's talent lies within creating characters the reader cares about and keeps in her thoughts long after the book is put down.

Eden is a complicated character. She's successful in her career, dreams about owning a restaurant, and has family and friends who care about her. But yet it's hard for her to truly love another man because of the unresolved issues she has with her father. She's dedicated to finding David, not only to see him again, but she also realizes it's necessary for her self-growth and to face the future that awaits her.

Outside the Lines is a gripping novel about how mental illness not only impacts the individual with the diagnosis, but also the family. If you're looking for a story rich with family dynamics and likeable, flawed characters, you will not want to miss Outside the Lines. Highly recommended.

posted by IHeart2Read on February 19, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Accurate portrayal of mental illness

Havatny isn't poetic, does not use beautiful language to describe things, and certainly struggles with realistic dialogue. But what she does do is create very honest characters who are interesting, creative, and seemingly real as they each battle their own personal demo...
Havatny isn't poetic, does not use beautiful language to describe things, and certainly struggles with realistic dialogue. But what she does do is create very honest characters who are interesting, creative, and seemingly real as they each battle their own personal demons. Her plot is a good one- how a family is affected by one member's mental illness. She includes details that are very real and sort of sucks you in and makes you want to read more. You forget how bad her conversations between characters are, or how she mentions things that are so unimportant to the central text- just so you could learn more about the mentally ill father. I did read this rather quickly and thought it was overall a fair book. I would recommend it to anyone who can relate to the story line. I'm not sure I'll read any more of her books.

posted by Purple_Writer on March 29, 2012

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An inside look of mental illness

    Outside the Lines is a book that grabs the reader from page one. Early on I was invested in Eden and her search for her father. I wanted Eden to reconnect with David in order for her to heal from the void his absence had created. With each new clue to his whereabouts, I found myself filled with emotion: excited that she may see him again, but yet fearful that David's story may not have a happy ending.

    Hatvany tells the story of David and Eden in both their voices, which was the strength of the novel for me. Chapters alternate from the past to the present as David and Eden take turns narrating. Hatvany's transitions are so smooth, that I quickly adjusted and did not have to rely on the chapter headings to inform me if it was David or Eden, past or present.

    Reading David's struggles with staying on his medication and trying to live a "normal" life in his voice was refreshing. I don't think I would have been as captivated with him had I read about him from Eden's (or her mother's) perspective. Hatvany's talent lies within creating characters the reader cares about and keeps in her thoughts long after the book is put down.

    Eden is a complicated character. She's successful in her career, dreams about owning a restaurant, and has family and friends who care about her. But yet it's hard for her to truly love another man because of the unresolved issues she has with her father. She's dedicated to finding David, not only to see him again, but she also realizes it's necessary for her self-growth and to face the future that awaits her.

    Outside the Lines is a gripping novel about how mental illness not only impacts the individual with the diagnosis, but also the family. If you're looking for a story rich with family dynamics and likeable, flawed characters, you will not want to miss Outside the Lines. Highly recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A beautiful story unfolds as you turn the pages....

    Mental illness is the plague of the modern world. We treat the symptoms, but can do nothing for the problem itself. Drugs are just a temporary fix for so many and at the same time make the individual feel like someone else. This book explores the world of mental illness and the devastation it has wreaked on the main characters life. She is not the ill individual but her father. She loves him and thinks that if he just loved her enough he could change.

    The relationships and the love between the characters in this book are endearing and heartbreaking at the same time. I’ve worked with mental illness in my career and it breaks my heart more times then it doesn’t. The feelings of Eden are easily felt by the reader and I have to admit I cried at the end. A beautiful story unfolds as you turn the pages, one which will pull at your heartstrings and make you want to hug those you love...especially you dad.
    This book flows well, is easy to follow and difficult to put down. If you enjoy stories about real life that could really happen you will enjoy this book. I loved the way the author brought the father’s point of view across you don’t usually get that side of the story. Her father showed that sometimes love is not enough to change who we truly are, yet it is enough to keep us connected even if only in thought.
    4 1/2 stars

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Kritters Ramblings

    A book where mental illness takes center stage, but the reader gets a full picture with this read - from both the person fighting the illness to the family that is affected by the highs and the lows of the disease. The format of this book was a perfect way to share the story both what is currently happening to the full story of the past.

    From the beginning we meet Eden who has been severely damaged by her father's battle with a mental illness. She has struggled with her romantic relationships and can not find fulfillment at her job. Throughout the book you read the past from both her perspective and her fathers and learn why she has come to be the adult she is now. I absolutely loved reading the perspective of her father and having moments in his head as he tried to conform to society's standards and be a father and a husband.

    A story that hits you deep in your heart and makes you want to rescue her from her expectations of a father that can't live up to them. I fell hard into this book and was swallowed hole by the story. I couldn't put down if I tried!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    great book

    Very good book, first time i read a book from this author and already ordered her other book. You won't be disappointed if u purchase this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Awesome book

    This book was amazing! Could not put it down, has a great storyline. Loved how the book told both sides to the story from David's point or view and Eden's.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    Best book

    This is sure to be one of my all-time favorites. This writer pulls you in right away and suddenly you are hooked. The complicated relationship plots are icing on the cake. Cannot wait to read more of her books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Captivating!

    This book had you drawn in within the first few pages. This book combined mystery and pscyhology and was a page turner for sure. Had not enjoyed a book like this in awhile. The main character was easy to relate with and I was anxious to see if she was able to find her father. I enjoyed how the chapters flipped back and forth being current time and her childhood. Highly recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Devotion

    First I want to say that I loved the author's style of writing. She did a great job with two different views of the same thing and covering a vast age difference. Prior to reading the book, I have always felt that the majority of those living on the street made the choice to do this regardless of their circumstances. I feel this author's message reiterated my same feelings. I understand that making a drastic change to their way of life would be very difficult, but I feel that if they really wanted to, they could. I enjoyed the ending of the book and felt it was the right ending for this story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    This author. Loved this book

    What a great book. This was my first time reading a book from this author. Can't wait to start the next one. Hope she writes many more.

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  • Posted September 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliantly Written!

    This is my third book by Amy Hatvany, and each one of them is sooooo deserving of 5 stars+. I am delighted I found this author through my reading of Sarah Pekkanen’s books (another one of my favorites)!

    I could not put “Outside the Lines” down- Amy did an outstanding job of capturing the experience of mental illness, with the alternating perspectives of David (father) and Eden (daughter), as well as moving back and forth in time. It gave much insight and depth to each of the characters, feelings, and emotions. Amy’s subject matter is so real with raw emotion--the family dynamics, making each of her books so unique.

    I could really sympathize with all the characters, and put in this situation, not sure how I would have reacted. Lydia did all she could do in protecting her daughter and at some point in time you become an enabler. In the end David did not enjoy being trapped and being on the streets, gave him the freedom.

    The character of Jack was amazing and the dynamics of his relationship with Eden, as well as her relationship with step brother and stepfather. In a way, I feel Jack could sympathize with David, as he too chose a path of freedom away from this own controlling father.
    I do believe highly talented creative artistic minds work differently, and they demand a lot of solitude in order to create their masterpieces; being drugged and hospitalized would take away that inspiration.

    The ending was brilliant and loved everything about this novel – it will bring tears. The love the author put into this book, the research, and her background working in shelters,--definitely reflected throughout. (I can just picture the Garden of Eden) and have a few of the cast members in mind for a possible movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Excellent

    Interesting depiction of the mind of someone living with bi polar=

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Once again Amy Hatvany delivers a powerful, emotional novel.  Wh

    Once again Amy Hatvany delivers a powerful, emotional novel.  When I finish a book and continue thinking about it for days, I cannot help but be impressed.  When I finish a book and my viewpoint on the subject matter is altered even slightly, that is profound.  Ms. Hatvany’s writing tends to have this affect on me.  




    She handles the subject of mental illness with an elegance that is characteristic of her writing.  The story is told in two points of view.  We not only see how Eden is affected by her father’s illness but how David, himself, struggles with it.  The care and respect she uses to create these characters shines through.  Even when David is at his worst, he is tolerable.  Even when I didn’t agree with Eden, I still could see where her feelings were rooted and it made them a little more understandable.




    This is an extraordinary book and I would highly recommend reading it.  I just don’t know that I have the words to give it the justice it deserves.  It is beautiful and heartbreaking.  I am glad that Ms. Hatvany chooses to share her gift with us in her books.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    A very good book- definitely recommend

    I really enjoyed this book. I felt that the author did a fabulous job of making you fall in love with the characters in this book. I would definitely recommend this book for book clubs to read and discuss. It was eye opening about mental illness and homelessness. Well written. Easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Domino

    Sits on the shore arms around my knees the water laping at my feet brown hair over my shoulder

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Griff

    Im here

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 31, 2014

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    Posted April 13, 2012

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    Posted March 26, 2012

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    Posted August 19, 2012

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