“Just because your story’s not written down doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”
Synopsis: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer is the companion novel to Between the Lines, which I’d recommend reading first. In this story, characters come to life – literally – as Oliver, the prince in a fairy tale book, and Delilah, a “real girl”, navigate their love between worlds. After Oliver left his fictional storybook behind, however, the story began to fall apart. Delilah and Oliver must find a way to correct the original fairy tale book that Oliver has abandoned, while also hoping for a way to stay together in one world. Love, heartbreak, death, life, this book has it all.
Feelings: I enjoyed this book. I liked that it had all the elements of a fairy tale, but it was modernized by a dose of the real world. Some of my favorite reading moments were when Oliver was figuring out how to just be a teenager, and not a prince. Those scenes were funny and lighthearted, keeping me entertained and interested. I’m really glad that the dose of reality came through heartbreak and loss – because let’s face it…that’s reality! Every once in a while, I need a feel good book where everything’s coming up roses, but I also really enjoy books where life kicks in.
Issues: This book is entertaining, but that’s about all it has going for it. Characters are going back and forth between the real world and the fictional one, making my head spin. I sympathized with Edgar, but he’s the only character I had any type of connection with…and that didn’t even happen until the book was almost over. Delilah and Oliver had too many things going for them. There were so many things that should have been bigger issues, realistically, but they magically worked out. I mean…the guy drew a picture of a dragon on his SAT answer document and got a perfect score, for goodness sake. The writing was good (because Jodi Picoult), but there were a couple of scenes that I skimmed through because I couldn’t figure out their purpose.
Characters: I ended the book with quite a few questions. How did Edgar’s mom not seriously realize her son had been swapped out? How gullible is Delilah’s mom? And the whole Edgar/Jules/Chris thing was super weird and short-lived. I felt like some elements of this story were thrown in just to spice it up, but weren’t really developed, so they stuck out and were awkward. Also, Oliver is the cheesiest love-struck teenager of all time. Is it because he’s really a fairy tale prince? I hope so.
Comparisons: This story is similar to the movie Enchanted, but only in the sense that it’s fairy tale characters trying to navigate the real world. Enchanted doesn’t really take real people into the fairy tale world. Or maybe I just haven’t seen that movie in a long time and I don’t remember it. That’s always possible.
Final thoughts: In the end, I’m glad I picked this one up. I enjoyed the blend of genres, the colored font (so interesting!), I LOVED the pictures and just overall thought this was an entertaining story.
Pick this up if you liked:
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (go ahead and continue the story!)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (one fictional story + one in the real world = good reads)
Goodreads rating: 3.94/5
Amazon.com rating: 4/5
My rating: 4/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn