I received this book for free from Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Series: Ever After #1
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on January 12th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?
With a title and premise so perfect, as a self-proclaimed book nerd, there was no way I could resist this book. And MAN am I glad it exists. So fluffy, cute, and funny – it cheered me straight up and delighted me for hours.
I will say it took me a little bit to get into Bookishly Ever After. Though the premise is perfection and I should have instantly been like OMG PHOEBE IS ME, I was nervous. The constant bookish references and little cute book nerd habits almost seemed kind of like they were trying to hard… like this book was completely pandering to an audience of readers just like me. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but it just took a little bit for Phoebe to feel like a real, 3-dimensional character instead of just a vessel for me to project myself into. Once I did get into it though, the book was an absolute delight.
So the idea is pretty simple: Phoebe is a total bookworm. Reads every day, even during lunch breaks, barely keeps herself focused in the real world. So when her best friend tells her a certain someone likes her, she becomes a bumbling, nervous fool. And she does what any serious book nerd would do – she turns to books for help. She draws inspiration from the bad-ass heroines in her fantasy and paranormal romance books, trying to figure out how to equally woo and cut ties with guys. As any juvenile plan like this, it’s not all equally successful, but it leads to some pretty hilarious shenanigans.
To be clear: this book is super fluffy. I think it might come off as a bit young to some YA readers, because Phoebe is so sheltered and nervous. She knows so little about the real world. And yeah, she’s incredibly naive about love – her “acting” escapades arguably go on a bit too long because she’s too dense to grasp the guy’s actual intentions which are PAINFULLY OBVIOUS to basically everyone else. So much miscommunication, holy crap. But it’s still super cute. Not only do she and Dev (Indian love interest, btw) have some of the best banter ever, but she also has a great group of friends (including a lesbian cheerleader who is in an awesome relationship). She’s a part of the band too, and that leads to some super nostalgia-laden scenes that bring authenticity to the high school setting.
I can’t really say much more than that this book made me really happy. When I got over my initial hesitance, it was super easy to get sucked into the story, the cute moments, Phoebe’s nervous mind, and the excellent banter. It read like a breeze. And that last half just filled my heart with so much joy. I mean…
“I’m supposed to push a loose strand of hair out of your face, then let my hand linger on your cheek, or isn’t that how, like, every other kissing scene in those books you read goes?” He gently tucked that piece of hair behind my ear and let his fingers slide down to tilt my chin up until my eyes met his. “Well?” ARC of Bookishly Ever After by Isabel BandeiraFuck if that isn’t basically everything I want in life.