Monday, November 9, 2015

Mini-Reviews: Ink and Bone and Off The Page

The last two months have not been very good reading months for me. I always seem to get a bit slumpy during the beginning of fall, which makes no sense as fall is such a good reading time. I think I'm finally getting out of the slump, as it's only November 9th and I've already read 3.5 books. In an effort to make this blog more active, I have two mini-reviews today.

First off, this cover is gorgeous! The spine looks like an old leather bound hardcover, and I just love it. The reason I was so drawn to this book was because it's about books, and because it had a lot of Harry Potter comparisons. It is definitely nothing like Harry Potter. They both take place in a learning environment, but there is no awesome school like Hogwarts in this book. The only real similar thing was a chess set that moves itself, which to be honest, kind of bugged me. Oh, and there's a train that transports them, but it's much more fancy than the Hogwarts Express.
I spent the first half of this book not really caring about it. I was liking it enough, but it wasn't completely holding my attention. The premise is really interesting. Real books are kept controlled by the Library and to be in possession of them is a crime. There's a group of students who are being trained to work for the Library (there are different job titles), and then they are sent to war-torn England to try and smuggle out some books. Naturally, people are trying to kill the students. This was when the story got really interesting.
At times I found it hard to care about the characters. I thought they were well-written and such, but I just didn't care that much until about the middle of the book. It probably sounds like I didn't enjoy this book, and that's not true. I did like it, but I did have some issues. I didn't really like/care about the romance . It felt forced and rushed and just off. I do plan to read the next one because once I finally became invested in the story, I really needed to know what happens.
I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars because it was a bit slow at first, but it ending up picking up in the latter half.
If you've been reading my blog for any length of time then you know that Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, and I will basically try anything that she writes. Off The Page is the companion book to her book Between The Lines, which was co-written with her daughter Samantha van Leer. I read Between The Lines back in 2012 and really liked it.
Between The Lines is about a girl who falls in love with a prince from a book, and about how they try to get him out of the book. Off The Page is about the boy, Oliver, out of the book and living in the real world. I'll mention right away that you do need to suspend your beliefs in order to read this book, but I really loved it. I had such a good time reading this book. It's fun, and cute, and maybe a bit cheesy, but there are also some serious undertones to it.
In order for Oliver to leave the book, someone had to take his place. The authors son, Edgar, happened to be the one who took Oliver's place.  The author doesn't know that the boy living with her is the character she created, and most definitely not her son.
Watching Oliver try to navigate modern life/high school was funny and sweet, until something happens to the author and it's decided that Oliver needs to go back to the book so that Edgar can come out and be with his mom. Problems arise when they try to get Edgar back out and Oliver back in. I loved the cast of characters, both in the book and in the real world. I will never forgive Picoult and van Leer for a particular THING that happened, though. I just don't think IT had to happen.
Like I said before, I had a lot of fun reading this book. It's almost like a modern day fairy tale, and is perfect for anyone who hasn't read a good old fairy tale in a long time. After all, who hasn't fallen for a book character and wished they could be a real person?

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