Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer


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RATING: 3.5/5

BLURB: “Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. It’s a miracle that seems perfect at first – but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favourite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. In this multilayered universe, the line between what’s on the page and what’s possible is blurred. Is there a way for everyone to live happily ever after?”

REVIEW: I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of Delilah and Oliver’s story, ‘Between the Lines’, which I did in fact review on this blog not long after it was released in 2012. Although I had not expected there to be a sequel, I was excited to see how Delilah and Oliver’s story had progressed after Oliver’s removal from the fairy tale world and emergence into our world. The multiple perspectives from the three principal characters; Delilah, Oliver and Oliver’s replacement in the novel, Edgar; allows the reader to see how both worlds have been dramatically changed by Delilah and Oliver’s relationship and their desperation to be together, and all is not going well. Oliver’s arrival causes some problems for the couple when he finds himself becoming incredibly popular, particularly with girls – something that Delilah is none to happy about. There is also the problem of Oliver’s adopted mother – who is really Edgar’s mother, and the author of the book in which Oliver once lived, Jessamyn James – as she becomes increasingly unwell. Back in the fairytale world, things are also not going smoothly for Edgar or many of the other beloved characters – including Frump, Oliver’s best friend, and Seraphima, his ex-girlfriend. The book has noted the changes being made and is beginning to rewrite itself, pleading with Oliver to return and spontaneously causing people from the real world to swap with characters in the book, leading to both disastrous and tragic consequences (I may have cried at this book, but unfortunately can’t let on why). Delilah and Oliver are desperate to find a way for everyone to be happy and for Jessamyn to stay alive, but things are not so simple. This novel follows their journey to achieve a happy ending in both worlds, but cleverly intermingles this with the more general ups-and-downs of teenage relationships, and the problems we encounter when we fall in love for the first time and suddenly realise that being in love and in a relationship isn’t always easy. I did really enjoy this book and was pleased to be reunited with the characters, who remained consistent across both stories and kept me entertained. The book was easy to read and I read it quickly; I was undoubtedly hooked from beginning to end. I did, however, feel that this book was not quite so gripping as the first, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why – it seemed to lack some of the magic of the first story. I would still highly recommend it, however, particularly for fans of ‘Between the Lines’ who would like to be reuinted with all their favourite characters.


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