Delilah knows it’s weird, but she can’t stop reading her favourite fairy tale. Other girls her age are dating and cheerleading. But then, other girls are popular.  She loves the comfort of the happy ending, and knowing there will be no surprises.  Until she gets the biggest surprise of all, when Prince Oliver looks out from the page and speaks to her.

Now Delilah must decide: will she do as Oliver asks, and help him to break out of the book? Or is this her chance to escape into happily ever after?

Read between the lines for total enchantment . . .

As “awesome!” is neither constructive nor entirely age appropriate, let me get that out of my system and elaborate.

Like the more sophisticated cartoons, it works on several levels, from the simple fairytale to the complexity of how a character would go about getting out of his book, or getting someone else in, complete with rules on what won’t work and occasional philosophy – how do you know you’re not a character in someone else’s book?

Older readers will catch the small things, and writers will get a kick out of the author’s appearance and how much it’s also about reading and writing and what happens to a story.  And don’t assume it’s a simple read that requires no thinking.  It also isn’t the type where the parent doesn’t notice her daughter’s obsession with a kid’s book, and sends her to a psychiatrist.

Their whole world’s a stage

Have you ever wondered what happens when you close a book? What if the story is a play the characters put on, and the closing of the curtain (or book) is when they go off and have lives of their own?

Go on, you know you’ve thought it,  the same way your toys drank their water before you were told about evaporation.  Personally, I think more about characters in series books – do they ever get a breather between all the action, or is their life one adventure after another?

It’s a fun, fast read, and having a character who lives in a book is wonderfully different, even if he does want to get out; I only read one or two chapters a day and finished it in a week.  (Although depending on what you consider a “chapter” you might argue that I read it three chapters at a time; Page X, Oliver, Delilah in one sitting seemed like the natural rhythm.)

It’s even a story within a story, as afterwards you can read just the fairytale pages.  Just like the book that’s within the book!

Don’t buy the audio book – see the illustrations!

There are two kinds of illustrations, one at the beginning of each chapter that is drawn like a page from an actual fairytale book, and small silhouettes throughout which I think are really clever.

This is the one thing I would warn you about: apparently the illustrations (and even the text?) are in colour, but my Kindle showed everything in black and white.  If I had known, I probably would have bought the actual book.

Recommend

It’s definitely inspired me to try out more of Picoult’s books, even if I am aware that this one was unique.  Let’s hope the book’s wrong about there being an author who writes a fairytale and then fades into obscurity 😉

What are you waiting for? Go get it!

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