02 March 2017

ARC Review: Bookishly Ever After (Ever After #1), Isabel Bandeira

Bookishly Ever After (Ever After, #1)

Title: Bookishly Ever After
Series: Ever After #1
Author: Isabel Bandeira
Published: 19/01/2016, Spencer Hill Contemporary
Pages: 378
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 2.5/5

"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?"

Bookishly Ever After is about a very bookish bookworm so, by default, I should have loved this book. In reality, it just didn't live up to expectations and the more I read the more the story dragged. Sure, it is a cute, fun read, but there was just far too much of it and a lot of what felt like filler.

I absolutely adored Phoebe, though. Her book obsession and constant book referencing is just so relatable. She even dresses up to go to book events (though this is something I've never done). Her excitement over new releases is just adorable. I swear she was just a little bit of me in book form. However, I did find her quite childish and immature at times and she looked to her books for answers to real problems a bit too much.

I really liked the majority of Phoebe's friends. I thought Grace was just great and just so sweet. Plus, she gave Phoebe great advice. However, Em annoyed me. Her advice is pretty rubbish and she's far too pushy!

Dev is a nice enough love interest and it's obvious that he really cares for Phoebe, and vice versa. However, I wanted to knock their heads together. They are so bad at communicating with each other. This book would have been so much shorter, and less of a trawl through, if Dev and Phoebe actually sat down together and talked.

Bookishly Ever After is told from Phoebe's perspective so it was great and easy to relate to, but she is quite an immature narrator. I also felt that the book excerpts at the end of chapters, although a nice addition, could have been left out - in fact, I eventually just started skipping over them.

I did find Bookishly Ever After a very slow read, to the extent that I was getting bored with the story. I also felt that the story lacked any major plot twists and most were actually just a result of miscommunication between Phoebe and Dev. The ending was also a bit anti-climatic for my liking. It sort of just ended and that was that, in a way. However, all the plot points did tie up quite nicely.

Bookishly Ever After was a nice read (despite how negative my review looks). I did find that the story dragged, but Phoebe was still a fantastic and relatable character so I couldn't help but want to finish her story. If you like a very easy, but lengthy, YA contemporary romance then I would recommend Bookishly Ever After. This one just wasn't one of my favourites and it did leave me a bit disappointed.

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