Love can be hard to find and potential partners can frustratingly have a tendency of being either taken, gay, or fictional. And for Delilah, in Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer’s Off the Page, her love falls into the fictional category in the largest way possible.
Delilah had worked hard to get her fictional boyfriend Oliver out of the fairy tale he was written in. With Oliver out in the real world with Delilah, the fairy tale’s author’s son Edgar had agreed to take his place as the prince in the story to escape his boring life as an outcast. And the book seems to have accepted this exchange for a while, but the book has started to overwrite the changes that Edgar wrote in an effort to revert to its original form. With the book revolting to change the tale back to what it once was, people are getting transported in and out of the book and Delilah struggles to figure out how she can keep Oliver when Edgar needs to return to the real world after his mother gets sick. Will they all live happily ever after?
Written from four perspectives, each in a different color to help easily differentiate the narrative (a super cool tactic!), the story is provided in a more complete picture. Which leads me to the next point: the illustrations. They are interspersed periodically enough to not make the book seem like a little kid book, but they are intricate, offering a sense of sophistication and maturity more closely aligned with the target readership. The writing was detailed in a manner that allows those who haven’t read Between the Lines (like me) to easily get caught up in and understand the narrative’s trajectory. While the love story is quite cliched with a traditional, puke-inducing happy ending, this was tempered by the intriguing thought about the book’s perspective of the story it contains.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.