I picked up this book because it’s sequel (Off the Page) had been popping on my Goodreads feed with some frequency during the month of June, and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I clicked on the handy-dandy Goodreads link, found that the book popping on my feed was the second of a series (a duology, at the very least) and that the first book would arrive from the library quicker anyway, so I started with that one.
Resume: Once upon a time, there was a fairy tale prince named Oliver, who knew that he was a fairy tale prince. He relived his life over and over again, every time someone opens the book which contains his story, and is only free to live what independent life he can manage when the covers are closed. Until one day, Delilah picks up the book. She’s a fifteen years old who lives with her single mother, seems cursed with unpopularity, and is the first person ever to notice that sometimes, when the characters are not careful, the book changes.
It is a perfectly lovely book, and a quick read: I finished it off in one sitting. I am a sucker for the teenage fantasy love drama, however predictable it is in many ways. I am also a sucker for stories where the fictional characters know that they are fictional and strive to enter “the real world” and escape their fictional destinies. To top it all off, there were beautiful, full-page colour illustrations, by Yvonne Gilbert, and very cute black silhouette art by Scott M Fisher throughout the book. I haven’t read a lot of illustrated novels in my life, I think the last one was The Graveyard Book, and that was six years ago. I don’t know if I’m going to go out and look for more, because the surprise is part of what makes the illustrations fun, as is the rarity.