Undeniably Fun | Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Friday, August 25, 2017

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: 1/19/16
Pages: 378
Source: purchased

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?


Phoebe has always lived life inside her books, striving to become more like her favorite characters. When her best friend plants a seed, telling her that Dev likes her, Phoebe just brushes it off. However, the more closely she looks at the real world, she seems to notice how handsome Dev is-- certainly not in the way all her book boyfriends are handsome-- but the more she notices, the more she develops this feeling. Will she be able to live bookishly ever after?

A Bookish Character

  • Phoebe is such a unique and resounding character. She is a reader, delving deep under her TBR pile. She is quirky and totally awkward. She is a total fangirl. She is beyond relatable in these ways. She has something in common with each and every one of us. If she were non-fictional, we would be best friends. 
  • Isabel Bandeira brings us a book like no one has ever seen before. And I hope she continues to wow us with her magical plots. The layers of plot in both creating Phoebe's world and the many books Phoebe was devouring was impressive. It reminded me a lot of the layers which are present in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: the main story, the fanfiction, and the work of fiction the fanfiction was based. It is simple in doing the plot in this manner but also genius.
  • And so many characters who read books! I certainly loved that component. Especially, when Dev turns out to be a fan of reading too. Am I the only one who thinks we need more male readers? Better yet, we need more book characters, specifically male, who like to read! 
  • Dev is certainly not the prefect dream boy I was expecting. In all honesty, I was expecting her to fall for the cliched jock who seemed like nothing but a jerk. I was pleasantly surprised. I think Dev and Phoebe are perfect together, in that they have so much in common. Every conversation they had was simultaneously awkward and adorable.

Too Cute (Never a Bad Thing)

  • This is your classic high school teen drama. A cheesy, awkward fest of awesome. It's pretty great.
  • I haven't read a lot of protagonists who read which is why I was so drawn to Bookishly Ever After in the first place. However, seeing Phoebe's reading process really astounds me. In carefully placed notes-- between the chapters-- we see how Phoebe navigates the real world through discovering advice within the pages of her current reads. It is cute and certainly clever. 
  • The plot is undeniably realistic. It emphasizes the development of a crush in the most real and touching way. 
  • However cute it is, Bookishly Ever After contains some of the most used clichés. The trust games at a week-long camp. The makeover montage (well, I imagined the montage but she did have a makeover). Despite all the clichés, we have seen time again and again, I still found the book to be exciting and fun.
  • I don't know if I had a faulty copy of the book but the formatting of the book had a few mistakes. There are some dialogue issues, most specifically when Phoebe is texting on her cell. Some texts are italicized, whereas others are not which had me guessing the whole time whether what was being said were her thoughts or being texted to the other characters. 
  • Despite some formatting issues, Bookishly Ever After has some incredibly short chapters which makes for a speedy read. 
  • Isabel Bandeira's writing flowed nicely. Its narrative, coupled with great writing was the perfect balance of bookish goodness and high school teen drama.

Overall

Overall, Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira is a short, fantastic tale that will have your little reader heart putter around every turn. Despite the many cute clichés, the book represents the character in all of us. Bookishly Ever After is an adorable read that will certainly make you believe in happily ever after, leaving a permanent smile on your face.


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