I’m not sure how I had never read a novel by bestselling author Jodi Picoult before I received Off the Page, which she co-wrote with her daughter Samantha Van Leer. This is their second collaboration. Their first joint effort was the bestselling novel, Between the Lines. Although Off the Page is considered a companion to that YA novel, it also reads just fine as a stand-alone book. Like most series, however, you will probably get a more in-depth understanding of this second novel if you’ve read the first one.
Did you ever wonder what it would be like if that hero you swooned over in your favorite fantasy or fairy tale could actually come to life? This novel is a fantasy, a romance, an adventure tale, a story about relationships, and a story about that special bond between readers and the books they love. And I’m thrilled that I can offer a copy one of you will win in our giveaway!
Meet Oliver. He’s a prince of a guy – no really, he’s a prince – a prince in a novel, that is. And he’s not just a prince or handsome, he’s a hero. What teenage girl, sick of the slim boyfriend pickings at school, wouldn’t dream of what it would be like if Oliver existed in real life? We’ve all done that at one time or another. The only thing is that we didn’t have the moxie, erm make that magic, to make that actually happen. What would it be like to have that wish come true?
The book Oliver lives in is sixteen-year-old Delilah’s absolute favorite and she has dreamed of Oliver coming to life. She’s getting her wish but it’s not quite as simple as the wave of a magic wand. For Oliver to become a real teenage boy, someone has to take his place in the book and the someone who volunteers for the job of fantasy fiction prince is Edgar – a real 21st century teenage boy.
“Oliver and I make a fabulous couple.
Speaking of which . . . I kind of still can’t believe we are one.
It’s one thing to have a boyfriend, but to have someone who looks like he just stepped out of a romantic comedy—well, it doesn’t happen to people like me. Girls spend their lives dreaming of that perfect guy but always wind up settling when they realize he doesn’t exist. I found mine—but he was trapped inside a fairy tale. Since that’s the only world he’s ever lived in, acclimating to this one has been a bit of a challenge. How he came to be real—and mine—is a long story . . . but it’s been the biggest adventure of my life.
So far, anyway.”
Maybe you’re already uttering the magic words, “Uh oh,” because you can see that there might be just the teensiest problem here. Not only is Oliver completely and dangerously clueless about life in the real 21st century but Edgar is completely and dangerously clueless about how to live in a fantasy world filled with unicorns, mermaids and trolls. And then there’s the dog, Frump, who’s been made into a human but there are side effects.
“After years of public school, I’ve gotten pretty good at being invisible. That way, you’re less likely to become a target.
But Oliver knows none of this. He has always been the center of attention. He’s even more undeveloped socially than the boy who enrolled last year after nine years of being homeschooled in a yurt. Which is why I’m actually breaking a sweat, imagining everything Oliver could be doing wrong.
At this point, he’s probably ten minutes into a story about the first dragon he ever encountered—and while he might think it’s a great icebreaker, the rest of the bus will either peg him as the new druggie in town, who puts ’shrooms in his breakfast omelet, or as one of those kids who run around speaking Elvish, wearing homemade cloaks, with foam swords tucked into their belts.”
“’Excuse me?’ I [Edgar] turn when I feel a tap on my shoulder. Queen Maureen smiles apologetically. ‘Sorry to bother you, dear. But is there any chance my fellow characters and I might get a little update? It’s awfully hot to sit in this galactic armor, and people are getting a wee bit antsy.’
I hop up on the stump that Frump uses to address the cast. ‘Ladies and gentlemen…and, uh, trolls. We’re experiencing some technical difficulties. Please stand by.’ With that, I leap down and climb onto Socks’ back. ‘Let’s get this over with,’ I say…
‘Frump,’ I call, knocking on the wall of the doghouse. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘Don’t come in, Edgar,’ he yells. ‘I just need to be alone now.’”
If you’ve read Between the Lines, you’ll be happy to know that characters who may have seemed almost peripheral in that novel are explored in more depth in Off the Page. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in both worlds and, of course, now I’ve got to go back and read Between the Lines. I’m not going to say more about the characters – these people and creatures you’ll just have to get to know for yourself…I’m evil that way. Just trust me, you’ll get a kick out of them.
Most of you know me well enough by now to know that I don’t normally read romance novels; however, I loved Off the Page. It was exactly the kind of fun and often funny Spring read I was in the mood for. Maybe my brain had just maxed out on complex thrillers and mysteries, and needed a little vacation. It honestly doesn’t matter why I chose this novel; just that I enjoyed the hell out of it and I think you will too. I have to mention a convention the authors used, which I liked. When the story is taking place in the fantasy land of the book, the typeface is printed in blue. When the story is taking place in the real world, the typeface is printed in black. It seems simple but it makes it immediately clear which world you’re in – no guesswork needed. So, what’s the bottom line on Off the Page? Adult or teen – If you’re looking for a fun beach or vacation read, I think this one definitely gets a thumbs up!
Can’t wait to read it?
Off the Page was published on May 19, 2015, so it’s available in all formats from your favorite online bookseller below (or in the right column for iBooks). If you download it as an e-book, you can have it to read immediately!
I’d love to get your comments on Off the Page, Jodie Picoult and/or Samantha Van Leer, their other work, and/or this review.
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One lucky reader will win an ARC (advance readers copy) of Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer!
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 6/6/2015, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) You must be at least 14 years old to enter this giveaway.
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7) That’s it – it’s a very easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!
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