Off the Page is the companion novel to Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. Between the Lines follows a girl named Delilah and her efforts to get a fairytale prince named Oliver out of a book and into her life so they can be together; Off the Page shows the consequences of that decision and how it affects not only the lives of Delilah and Oliver, but also their friends and loved ones. Both books were cute, fun, lighthearted reads, but I became less engaged after a while because of the relentless focus on romance. I give Off the Page 5.5/10 stars for solid secondary characters, cute scenes, and humor, but also too many love interests to hold my interest.
Things I Liked:
- Split POVs are actually done really well. In my opinion, it’s very difficult to pull off split POVs (another example of success with these is the end of The Retribution of Mara Dyer [which I’m still not over because it’s flawless]), but I think Off the Page balances Oliver, Delilah, and Edgar really well. Edgar POV in particular was very exciting to me, because I wanted to see a lot more from his character after Between the Lines ended.
- The secondary characters introduced in Off the Page expand it a little beyond a simple romance. I liked Chris and James and Jessamyn because they distract a little from the pining.
- I liked that the characters figure out how wishes navigate between the real world and the fantasy world. It would have been annoying if Off the Page had turned into a repeat of Between the Lines, where the main plot is someone stuck in the book who doesn’t want to be. Instead, there’s a lot more back and forth, people popping in and out of the book, which makes the plot seem deeper than Between the Lines.
- Off the Page definitely has a more grown-up vibe, and the maturity is a positive change from Between the Lines.
Things I Didn’t Like:
- Boys have cooties. Seriously though, this book is just too focused on romance. I like action and butt-kicking and friendships and sarcasm and one-liners and romance, but Off the Page is mainly a lot of pining. I didn’t mind at first, but after a while, the whole sixteen-year-old-who’s-found-her-true-love thing got a little old.
- Jules, one of the only non-pining characters, is also the only character who doesn’t get a happy ending. Not fair.
- While I was reading it, I could ignore it, but the stereotypical-ness got to be just a little much.
- Okay, but, like, you’re sixteen? How do you know this is your true love? Especially when you’re not bonded by some supernatural connection or action-packed backstory? Why are you acting like this is the point of your entire life? Be independent, woman! (Me to Delilah.)
Even fictional boys are gross after a while. Though Off the Page has a lot going for it, after a while, I wanted something more. Romance, even when there’s funny characters and cute scenes involved, can’t compensate for a lack of explosions or battles or villains. Off the Page is fun and cute, but I was still left wanting something else to add a little action or interest or not-romance.
(I received an ARC of Off the Page from Random House in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)