I’ll be honest, when I first saw this book on the shelves of my local bookstore, it didn’t catch my attention at all. The cover was cute but I don’t much care for Jodi Picolt’s work. I’m not trashing her or anything, her novels just never interest me. But then I saw a few reviews praising it and I finally did read the summery and desperately wanted to get my hands on it. I ended up winning a copy and when it arrived, I became even more excited about it because this book as random illustrations throughout the entire story. Some of them are full page, colored pictures and some are just black and white drawings in the margins, but I loved them.
Anyway, enough gushing about how gorgeous the book is, let’s get to the story, shall we? This book follows Prince Oliver in his endeavor to remove himself from his story. Oliver is the main character in a childhood fairytale called Between The Lines. He is sick to death of playing his part over and over and over again, every time someone opens the book, he is dragged to his proper place and forced to recite his lines to the readers subconscious. He has been trying for years to get the reader’s attention to tell them that he needs help escaping this world. But no one ever hears him, until Delilah. Delilah is a fifteen year old girl who becomes obsessed with the story. She can’t seem to stop reading it over and over. So when a small change occurs in the illustration of the last scene, she notices instantly. Delilah initially thinks she’s lost her damn mind when a fictional character starts talking to her. She soon realizes that Oliver is in fact very real. Thus begins their journey to remove Oliver from his story.
I found this book highly amusing. Some of the characters where laugh out loud funny, like the overly self conscious pony and the pirate who was secretly an orthodontist. I was also very amused by all the drawings in the margins. I’ve read several reviews complaining that this novel was just too much fluff to take, but I happen to like good fluff every now and then so I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did get a little irritated at Delilah for getting so wrapped up in Oliver that she ignores her best friend, but then you really think about it. She’s fifteen and what is more exciting to a fifteen year old than first love? Add to that the complication of being in love with a fictional character who may or may not be talking to you making you quite probably insane and it is understandable why she has withdrawn herself from human activity.
This book reminded me quite a bit of the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev, except with novels instead of plays. So if you are looking for something similar to that (but maybe not quite as high on the reading level), then this is your book. All in all, it is funny and well written and has a great ending. Really, with a fairy tale book, what more can you ask for?