Sunday, June 24, 2012

Books Come to Life!

Picoult, Jodi and Samantha Van Leer. Between the Lines.
26 June 2012
Delilah hates school because it's boring and the people are mean. When she finds an old fairy tale book with hand painted pictures, she becomes enamored of the story and the main character, Prince Oliver. She starts to notice that small things in the pictures have changed, and it turns out that this is because the characters in the book have completely different lives when the book is closed and they are not acting out the story. This story is told from three different perspectives, written in three different fonts-- Delilah's view, Oliver's view, and the text of the story, Between the Lines. Oliver chafes at being in the book and desperately wants to escape, especially after seeking Delilah's help and falling in love with her. Will the two be able to figure a way to be together?
Strengths: This was a nice idea. Ms. Picoult and her daughter no doubt had a very enjoyable time writing this. It's not as confusing as many books with three points of view, and was a quick read.
Weaknesses: One of my favorite books is Roderick Townley's The Great Good Thing, and this is a tiny bit of a rip off of that book, which describes the characters when the book is closed in a very similar fashion. Also, any book in which the main character describes herself as "weird" because she likes to read irritates me.

VanDiepen, Alison. Vampire Stalker.
1 June 2011 (now in paperback)
Amy has a similar problem to Delilah's, but the stakes are higher-- Amy's favorite books are the Otherworld series with the vampire hunter Alexander Banks. She gets the latest books, writes fan fiction, reads the web sites obsessively. When she is attacked while walking home one night, she finds out the Alexander has come from Otherworld Chicago into Chicago proper-- and so has the very evil vampire Vigo, who has commenced killing people in Amy's world. At first, Amy thinks that the boy is just a fan who is more than obsessed, but after talking to him, and to her brilliant school librarian who has studyied-- and this is beyond brilliant-- the concept of literary physics, she decides that he really is THE Alexander Banks and her world is in peril. Can the two manage to fall in love and save the world?
Strengths: This book didn't take itself too seriously, with the Twilight like obsession of The Mists fan following, but didn't overplay this enough to irritate actual Twilight fans. LOVED the librarian, and her idea that fictional worlds really do exist was great fun. Maybe she's right!
Weaknesses: This begs to be a series, but this came out a year ago and I don't see any indication that a second book is on the way.

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