[525]: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Delacorte Press | Hardcover, 384 pp. | May 19th, 2015 | Young Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Romance | Rating: 5 Stars


I spent the better part of my Saturday and Sunday reading this book. It was divine. A storm is still raging where I am: blustery wind, rains that are falling sideways, with intermittent wet snow. Perfect weather to hunker down with an immersive, highly addictive novel.

I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this more than its predecessor, Between the Lines. Mostly because all the loose ends from the first book were cleaned up. Edgar wasn’t such a random character any longer, and the impossibility of the romance between Oliver and Delilah was front and centre. It only makes sense that their relationship is not going to be perfect. After all, Oliver lived in a fantasy world where cellphones did not exist, and his world is a place where he knew every single one of its inhabitants.

One of the best things about this book was watching Oliver navigate through life in a constant awe and wonder. Everything is new and unfamiliar. It’s like watching your own child go out into the world the first time around. He got himself into some trouble, but had also become quite the popular guy in high school. He was handsome, with perfect manners, and spoke Shakespearean fluently. The girls adored him, the boys wanted him to be their friends.

While Delilah was overjoyed that an honest-to-goodness Prince Charming fell in love with her, she soon realized that sharing Oliver to the world was not so hot after all. Everyone was vying for his attention and fending off googly-eyed girls was an exhausting task day in and day out.

At the end of the first book, Edgar was more than happy to switch places with Oliver. Primarily because he was tired of being a recluse. Nothing ever happened in his life. He wanted adventure. Well, by switching with Oliver, he got way more than he bargained for. When he changed the plot of the novel into some version of space oddyssey, the book started rejecting it. It suddenly had a mind of its own. Soon it also started replacing characters with the people from Delilah’s world. So it was up to Oliver and Delilah to figure out how to make it right again. The heartbreaking thing about it is the realization that Oliver had to go back.

Honestly, so many things happened in this book, yet they were all bundled cohesively that nothing was out of place. This writing duo had taken Between the Lines and somewhat reinvented it; made it even better somehow. The writing was virtually flawless, flowing with such ease that reading it was not such a hard task. I’ve mentioned this before that I’m not a fantasy reader. But by combining it with contemporary themes makes it seem less daunting and more palatable.

This companion novel is spectacularly good: funny and addictive; new and inventive.  A perfect read for those who are looking for more than just fairy tale retellings. It’s written especially to us, book lovers because it realizes the importance of a reader to a book.

“The book is only half complete without a reader.”  

And it’s true. A book is useless if it will only sit in our shelves unread. If it’s not being read, it’s reduced to words written upon pages of wasted paper. It’s a lesson that comes at a time when I needed one more good reason why I need to put off hoarding books.

  • Sounds like you loved this one! Personally I haven’t tried any Jodi Picoult yet but we own a lot of her books because my mother and my older sister both love her books. And this one sounds like it ties everything up nicely and that it was simply a blast to read!

  • It sounds like this was read amidst the perfect reading weather: a storm! Winter storms are glorious for reading, so perfect- and I don’t even really believe in perfection! If it’s anything, I think it’s a winter storm being paired with a book!
    I got a copy of this but was hesitant to go into it, after being hugely disappointed and annoyed with the first book, and I did give it a go and… it wasn’t for me, unfortunately. I find the way the story is told frustrates and irritates me, but I’m glad it was such an enjoyable read for you! You certainly decribe it really well, Joy, and I’m hoping you got a few new readers onto it through your lovely review! I’m only sorry I already knew it wasn’t for me, because you do make me want to discover it’s magic.
    xx

    • It was perfect! I so wish all my weekends are like that! Lol…well, minus the snow, that is. It looked daunting to me at first, but I promise you, once you start, the pages will just go by fast. I do hope you’ll give it a chance someday. Thanks, Romi!

  • I’m actually reading Between The Lines right now, and I’m liking it so far xD The concept is rather unique and intriguing – I’m glad I read your review for this one though, adding it to my TBR 🙂

    • I’m so glad to hear that. I really enjoyed this one better than BtL. Enjoy!

  • I adored Between the Lines a few years ago SO much. The fairy tale twist was unlike anything I’ve read about before and NEVER HAVE I EVER expected a sequel to release, though it certainly is needed to patch things up! I love that the questions were answered and that everything was patched up—I do agree with Edgar’s character being SO random! But I always had a soft side for the guy. 😉 Awesome review!

    Michelle @ A Thousand Lives Lived! (New follower!) 😀

    • Edgar had a bit of romance in this book. I hope you’ll enjoy when you get to it. 😉

  • I haven’t read anything from Jodi just yet because I never knew where to start! Between The Lines sound soooo intriguing, like why haven’t I read this book? And then your review for this novel is seriously pushing me to make these purchases, so I MUST spend my coins! I’m adding them to my amazon wishlist so I won’t forget to get them 🙂 Amazing review Joy!

    • Thanks, Tika. I hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

  • I already have one book by J.P. on my tbr list waiting for me, but I’m adding this too. Thanks for sharing, wonderful review!

  • I can’t wait to read this one. I read two of her adult books and really enjoyed them. Great review!

  • lornak99

    I have read a few books by Picoult and really enjoyed them. I had never heard of this one so I went to GoodReads to see about the first one. It didn’t have that many good reviews so I am conflicted because I wouldn’t read this one unless I had read the first one. Glad you enjoyed it so much 🙂

    • I haven’t read any of Picoult’s adult fiction. I think I have her newest one, so I’ll check it out.

  • I love your last paragraph

  • It’s wonderful that you found a book like that. I didn’t know about this one ut now you entrigued me a lot!

    • I hope you’ll read it someday, Melliane!

  • RO

    I’m with everyone else and absolutely love that final quote. Really hits home for all of us bookaholics! Hugs..Ro

  • Yay 😀 Amazing review Joy. <3 I'm oh so happy that you loved this book so much. Sigh. It looks so pretty 🙂 Such a gorgeous cover. Thank you for sharing about it sweetie. <3

    • No problem, C. This book might be right up your alley. I hope you’ll give it a go. 🙂

  • Glad to hear you enjoyed and it was better than first

  • I’ve sort of given up on Jodi Picoult after her books ended up so formulaic – even if the issues were interesting. But I might give this YA series a go. It’s always great to find an addictive book! Lovely review.

    • Truth be told? I haven’t read any of her adult books. Lol.

  • I love that you labeled this as highly addictive. Can you believe I have never read one of her novels before? It sounds like this would be a really good place to start though so I’ll have to mark this one down as to read. 😀

    • great! I hope you’ll love it, Ali. 🙂

  • I had no idea this book was part of a series. I’ve only read a few Jodi Picoult books, but they’ve been fantastic. I love love love what you said about readers and books being unread. It made me feel all the feels!
    Wonderful review! 🙂

    • And it made me feel awful about my hoarding tendencies. Lol.

  • Ouch! That last paragraph hit home, Joy! Shot to the heart! But I am stubborn! I’m stopping by goodwill later to check out their shelves, hopefully I’ll manage to complete Janet Evanovich’S SPlum series or find some more use steampunk novels.

    • I know right? It’s like Jodi’s speaking to me, too. She knows.

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Obviously I need to read both because there’s just no way that I’ll read the companion without reading the first novel. But divine? Truly? And captivating, immersive, addicive etc? Sign me up.

    • The first one was a little slow for me and tough to get into. This one more than made up for it. I hope you’ll give it a chance someday. 😉

  • Awww this one definitely sounds like it picked up the story and ran with it, for fleshing out Edgar’s character more. It seems like Oliver has that awkward charm as well. Lovely review!

    • That’s exactly it! I kept trying to find a proper description for Oliver and you nailed it! Thanks, Jeann. 🙂

  • That is so true Joy: The book is only half complete without a reader. This sounds like a sweet read and I’m curios to know what it is to be fluent in “Shakespeare.” 🙂

    • Ha. Formal, British accent. Picture it, lady. 🙂