Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: Jan 12th 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
*Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC*
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?
Books about bookish people are a special sort of awesomeness. It's so gratifying to see fellow booknerds on the page. It's kind of proof that booknerd lives AREN'T as boring as people may think. Which is why I desperately wanted to love this book. I really, really, wanted it to be one of the best contemporaries I read this year, and give it five glowing stars. But sadly, I have some mixed feelings about the book.
Phoebe was an amazingly nerdy protagonist. She's so fangirl-y and bookish and relatable. I hate it when characters claim to love books, but you can't really see any of the nerdiness in them. They don't really come across as bookish to me. But Phoebe was marvellously bookish and it was so easy to relate to her!
Dev was pretty awesome too. He's Indian, plays the clarinet, leads flash mobs, will sit in line with you at a bookstore, and doesn't mind Phoebe's nerdiness at all! Dev is every bookworm's dream guy, I'm telling you. He's cute and sweet and considerate and patient and asfdjhgsl; just perfect.
Together, Phoebe and Dev made the CUTEST couple! Their banter and flirting were so fantastically awkward, and totally realistic, which I loved. I have nothing against a TFIOS-type meeting where the couple just naturally ease into a relationship, but oh, it was so fantastic to see the both of them stumble over each other awkwardly. Realism can be awesome sometimes.
Now, what I really didn't love was the lead-up to the actual romance. The author spent SO much of time with Phoebe and Dev tiptoeing around each other. It got boring. Seriously, they only get together waaay later in the book, and Bookishly Ever After was pretty long for a contemporary. It was mostly 300-odd pages of "he-likes-me-he-likes-me-not", and I found that BORING. For most of the book, I was feeling pretty "meh".
There WERE some good scenes, but honestly, I was just tired of seeing Phoebe go back and forth with her feelings and Dev just being annoyingly reticent with how he felt. Most of the middle of the book just felt like a filler to me. It only began to pick up when Phoebe went to camp as a counsellor.
Bookishly Ever After was a good read, but it wasn't as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. I loved Phoebe and Dev, and their gradual relationship was awfully cute, but I was slightly bored for the middle of the book, and felt pretty "meh" towards it. If you're looking for a cute, light-hearted read, you may want to try this, but I didn't love it as much as I wanted to.
don't you love it when the protagonist of a book is quirky and bookish?? will you be reading this book? isn't it so sad when a book you were really looking forward to disappoints? how much do you love awkwardly realistic romances?