Friday, August 1, 2014

The New Princess Bride

Know this book?

I raved about how this was the best book ever in one of my posts. (Oh, that reminds me - I need to watch the movie. Lots of people say it's better than the book. I'm left wondering how something could be more extraordinary that that book.)

I just finished reading a book that left me with the same feel-good vibe as that book. And the best part - it has a Happily Ever After. (I love happily ever afters. Which is why I hate movies like Inception and books like Before I Fall.) So? What book was it, that had me literally dancing as I finished the last pages? (And yes, literally dancing. Well, not literally, literally, but I was almost on the verge of tapping a tune with my hand. Except, of course, that hand was too busy turning the pages.)

Before I continue, I have to make something clear. This book, that I'm about to talk about (see how sly I think I am? Avoiding mentioning the title?) is in no way better, or even close to being as good as The Princess Bride. All I'm saying is that it's an awesome fairy-tale for girls who are way past the age of reading fairy tales. And for guys, I guess, who like princess stories.

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
― C.S. Lewis


Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.
And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.
Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

I'd rate this book a 3. Leaves me feeling very...conflicted. The plot is very straightforward. Rising action, climax, falling action, and only one "twist", some unpredicted turn of plot, that barely counts as a twist. There isn't much action action, just a lot feelings, lots of talking, and lots and lots of talking about feelings. It lacked the actual stuff - like eating a delicious meal that leaves you just as hungry as you were before. And there were little inconsistencies, like buzzing flies that keep coming back. Quite annoying, to say the least. But the story was sweet, and I couldn't help but root for Oliver and hope he pop out of the book in three dimensions. What I really enjoyed about the story was that it had illustrations - in full color. Somehow, a fairy tale never feels like a fairy tale until it's accompanied by pictures. Another thing that caught my attention was the alternating point of view. You have Delilah, telling her story about wanting a prince from a children's fairy tale, and then you have two Oliver chapters. One tells the actual story - so what was written in the picture book that started the whole problem. The other Oliver is the actual Oliver characters that wants to come out of the book. Very very well done, this multiple points of view thing going on.

If you like fairy tales, or are looking to read a light (whipped cream light), fun book, do try this. But if you're looking for something with more substance, full of action and whatever else you're looking for, go try someplace else. I'm sorry. Not really, actually.