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Off the Page
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Off the Page, by mother-daughter coauthors Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer, is a romantic fantasy and the sequel to Between the Lines. It continues the story of a girl in love with the prince from a fairy tale, who has now come into the real world. Because it's a romantic fantasy, readers should expect some pretty passionate kissing. Also, a boy sneaks into his girlfriend's bedroom to spend the night with her. There's more tragedy than violence: A beloved character dies in an accident, while another suffers a deadly illness. In general, the characters are loyal and make huge personal sacrifices to protect the ones they love. And there are some thought-provoking ideas about the importance of free choice and the meaning of hope.
What's the story?
In OFF THE PAGE, Delilah is happy to be with Oliver, a dashing prince newly escaped from a fairy tale who becomes surprisingly popular in high school. Meanwhile, back in the fairy tale, Edgar -- the author's real-world son and his doppelganger -- is having a hard time keeping everything in order, especially as other characters and real people swap places, sometimes unintentionally, and as the book starts trying to revert back to its original story. When a fairy tale character dies in the real world, Delilah decides Oliver must go back so she can keep him safe. But when Edgar discovers his mother, the author, is really sick, they must all work together to find new endings for everyone.
Is it any good?
This smart, sweet story mixes humor, romance, and deep thoughts about the risks we have to take to write our own stories, but it's very long, with many characters going in and out of the fairy tale. Readers will have to be pretty committed to work their way through it. Still, it's pretty impossible not to like a book with lines such as this one from Delilah, bemoaning her geometry homework: "So in spite of the fact that I am having possibly the worst Tuesday of my life, and my boyfriend is trapped in a fairy tale, and my best friend is hooking up with his clone, I have to prove that two triangles are congruent."
Pretty, classic illustrations of the fairy tale world are interspersed in the story, adding a bit of magic to the book and giving readers a good sense of what it's like to live in the idyllic -- but limited -- world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the premise. Would you rather live in a beautiful story with limited options or take your chances in the real world where you're mortal?
If you had to live in a book or movie, what kind of story would you choose?
Off the Page is the second book in a series (after Between the Lines). Do you think there will be more books? If so, what will happen?
- Authors: Jodi Picoult, Samantha Van Leer
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: May 19, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.