Book Review: ‘Bookishly Ever After’ by Isabel Bandeira

February 14, 2016     Holly     Reviews

Book Review: ‘Bookishly Ever After’ by Isabel BandeiraBookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Series: Ever After #1
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on Jan 12, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 387
Format: ARC, Kindle Edition
Source: Review Copy
4 Stars

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?

Be still my book-loving heart! Bookishly Ever After just gets me!

And I know a lot of book lovers like me have already said this, but it just goes to show how much Isabel Bandeira gets us with this novel. It’s full of cute, and fluff, and hot book boys and, honestly, what’s not to love?

Bookishly Ever After is all about Phoebe, a total bookworm who reads all day, everyday, except for when she’s shooting an arrow or knitting a sweater. She’s so adorably awkward and wrapped up in her book worlds that when her best friend informs her that their cute marching band friend Dev has a thing for her, Phoebe totally freaks out. And what does she do? Tries to morph herself into every book heroine she’s ever admired in order to show Dev she returns his affections.

Naturally, everything goes sideways, and Phoebe’s “novel” romance doesn’t go as smoothly as she could have hoped. But that’s part of Bookishly Ever After‘s charm. Because if you’re anything like me, or like Phoebe, we all know that part of the reason book’s captivate us is because the real world is full of mishaps and mayhem that are more groan-worthy than swoon-worthy. So even though Phoebe was a bit too innocent and naive for me at times, I still liked the layers that Bandeira gave her throughout the novel.

And Bookishly Ever After seriously delivers on the fluff, which is great because who doesn’t want to read a book ever once in a while that’s just cute – no tragedy in sight. And sure, at some points the novel does feel a bit young, even for a YA, but that’s part of its appeal. Phoebe’s very naive when it comes to her ideas of love, basically because they all come from the books she’s read, but it also leads to wonderful banter between her and Dev that’s equal parts flirty and funny.

Bandeira also delivers a lot of diversity in Bookishly Ever After, both physically and personality-wise, which is something I really enjoyed about the novel. Dev is Indian, Phoebe’s friend Grace is a lesbian and in a relationship that is equally adorable as any other couple in the book, the jocks/populars are actually pretty cool and accepting of everyone, and it’s the characters who are more academically-inclined that are kind of jerks. Her character descriptions and developments aren’t as stereotypical as some novels like to be, and it was a breath of fresh air in a novel that’s over 300 pages.

Basically, Bookishly Ever After is cute-to-the-max, relatively drama-free, and speaks to the soul of any book fan with their own list of book boyfriends. I can’t wait to see what Bandeira has in store next!

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