Off Book by Jessica Dall
Eloise was one of the top students at the School, where characters live and learn until they join their novels. And yet, she still hasn’t been chosen. If she doesn’t get assigned soon, she’ll fade away, forgotten. So when Eloise is offered a job at the Recording Office, she jumps at the chance. There she meets Barnaby Fitzwilliam, a post-storied romance hero but just as their relationship takes off, Eloise gets sucked into a story where she is not meant to be. With Barnaby helping from the outside, Eloise must find a way back out of a world where authors rule and anything is possible. Off Book has a very fun premise. It has the same meta, book-loving feeling as Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. While not as ridiculous as Fforde, Jessica Dall has created a rich literary world where characters have lives and personalities before they are written into books. I liked how Eloise grew during the course of the book. She started out as a little bit of a blank slate, lost without an author but gradually she begins to take control of her own story. My only complaint about Off Book is that the formatting in the Kindle version I read was terrible. There were line breaks in the middle of sentences which made the whole thing difficult to read but the overall story was worth the headache.
*Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this novel with a request for an honest review.*