Taking A Page Out Of Phoebe's Book - Bookishly Ever After (ARC Review)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Paper Bindings - Bookishly Ever After - Isabel Bandeira

TITLE: Bookishly Ever After (Ever After #1)
AUTHOR: Isabel Bandeira
RELEASE DATE: January 12th, 2016
PUBLISHER: Spencer Hill
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“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? ”

"It's okay, we like the weird booky world you live in. Makes the rest of our lives look a lot more normal." (Em 2%)

Once upon a time, there was a girl who fell in love with books.

She loved books so much, that she developed some unrealistic ideas about the world and about boys. Those book boyfriends of hers set the bar pretty high for real guys. So when she found out about a book wherein the heroine was basically herself (and every other bookworm) out there, of course she was going to read it.

"So, was giggling uncontrollably like a middle schooler at a boy band meet-and-great a part of whatever book you were trying to copy?" (Em 27%)

And the book wasn't all she thought it would be.

Bookishly Ever After reminded me a lot of Fangirl. (And I adored Fangirl.) There was a bookish girl who didn't interact with the world in the stereotypical normal way, had a love interest who was completely different, and it was set in a school environment. 

But it became apparent very early on that this book wasn't a copy of Fangirl, something I was initially worried about. The whole vibe of this book is different. It was more lighthearted and "younger" which made me feel a whole lot older but still somehow hopeful.

 "Maybe all of these books full of fictional romances were starting to get to me." (Phoebe 91%)

However, the book was 99% focused on a relationship I wasn't entirely on board with. 

Dev was out going, theatrical, and popular, but in a way where people loved him as opposed to loving the idea of him. He wasn't an out of her league jock that didn't understand how she thought and why she loved books. He might not have completely got it, but he accepted that side was a part of her. 

Combined with her introvert, bookish personality, the duo really did mesh well.

But there were parts of the romance that aggravated me. There was another girl that liked Dev, and she was constantly flinging herself on him. Literally. Not once did Dev, who based on his own actions was supposedly pursuing Phoebe as a girlfriend, ever tell his cling on to take a hike. Even in a polite, 'bad dog, don't leg hump me' kind of way. 

I understand why from a plot "something has to go wrong" it all happens, but it felt staged.

It was as if he was a passive love interest for a vast majority of the book. Only after reaching a certain woodsy point, did his character become really likable.
Because I wasn't a fan of the romance from the start, and the book was so romance focused, I thought the beginning dragged. 

But once the characters started opening up, and we got to see Dev as more of a potential boyfriend for our heroine, I really started to enjoy this novel.

"Sparks flew. Oh hell, sparks flew." (Phoebe 78%)

But she loved it anyways.

Raise your hand if you consider yourself a bookworm. Raise you hand if you have an "out there" hobby? (Sewing, knighting, etc.) Raise your hand if you have a billion book boyfriends (or girlfriends, as the case may be.) 

Congratulations, you are all Phoebe. 

And I think that's what made the book so enjoyable, Phoebe was so easy to connect to. Even when aspects of her character didn't mesh well with me (I tend to imagine myself as the point of view characters when I read books) I still managed to relate to her. 

I liked that the little snippets of the books that Phoebe were interspersed throughout Bookishly Ever After. You really got to see where Phoebe was coming from with her plan of seducing Dev and taking charge of her life. It was really cool watching her go from this bookish nerd who was unobservant of the world her into this girl who was comfortable being herself, whatever/whomever that may be. 

"Before all of this, my life was perfect. I had my book boyfriends and it was enough for me to read and dream about these guys because they weren't real. I'm so afraid that maybe reality ruined me for fiction. And that means I really did lose everything." (Phoebe 48%)


Despite me not instantly falling for Bookishly Ever After, by the end I really liked it. 

The story was cute and fun, and it made for a quick read. Upon finishing the novel, I learned that it is the first book in a series. I'm not sure if Phoebe has more adventures in store for us or if the hero/heroine of future novels will be the rest of her misfit gang, but I'm game to find out.


  1. I've been seeing this book a lot recently! Glad you enjoyed it :)

    1. It's funny. I saw the book exactly once prior to requesting it. After I got approved on NetGalley, it was everywhere I turned. Are you planning on reading it?

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. I am happy to hear you liked this one even though it did feel younger to you. I've read reviews where they didn't like it because they felt too old, and that's disappointing because I think this book sounds really good. But now I bet I could look past that aspect. Thanks for the review!

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    1. The book is definitely geared towards a younger audience. I'm am glad I'm not the only one to think so. For a bit there, I wondered if it was just me. I think you could look past it easy enough if liked the characters. Hope you enjoy it if/when you get to read it.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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