Series: Ever After
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on January 12, 2016
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
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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?
This was hands-down the most adorable book I’ve read this year. Not going to lie, Spencer Hill has some amazing contemporaries out there, and Bookishly Ever After was no exception. What drew me to this book at first was the fact that the main character is a total bookworm and the love interest plays clarinet. (Both aspects of me!) Not to mention the cover is absolutely lovely, too. However, you’ll find that this book’s simple yet realistic plot will draw you in until you can’t stop flipping the pages to see how Phoebe’s situation will work out.
This is one of the few times where high school felt like high school. I’m often a complainer of high school settings that really don’t feel like what I myself experience in real life (in fact, I have a GR shelf labeled “so-this-is-high-school” to showcase those). But Isabel Bandeira really hit the nail on the head! Obviously different people have different experiences, but I could connect to Phoebe and her friends so hard, and I know many of my friends would, too. Their dialogue and the small things they do that shape their character is simply a delight to read, and I was never bored.
I really like how the diversity is there in the book, but it remains subtle. No flashy, “DEV IS ONE OF THE SIX INDIAN KIDS IN OUR SCHOOL” that we may see in YA fiction. It’s weaved seamlessly into the story, which definitely made me appreciate it more. The characters themselves are each unique and diverse. We see not only cheerleaders but also band members, drama students, and mathletes; a nice reprieve from the typical “nerd” that characters are commonly labeled. None of them adhere to stereotypes too, which is just so refreshing to see. I wouldn’t mind coming back to this world and getting to know them better.
Us readers can definitely relate to Phoebe. She’s the girl with her nose stuck in a book while walking down hallways (me), cosplaying favorite characters, and getting inspiration from said characters. We even get glimpses of the notes she takes on particular book characters that help guide her love life. Ahh, and the romance – young love at its finest! We go through the whole range of a teen’s emotions and romantic entanglements: infatuation, jealousy, crush-worthiness, rejection, misunderstandment, and more. It all plays out quite realistically (there’s really no melodrama) and definitely brings out readers’ memories of their own experience.
The love interest Dev is just darling. He may not be an immortal vampire, powerful wizard or boy stuck in the wrong time period, but I definitely would take him up as a boyfriend anytime! Dev’s understanding for Phoebe’s reading is the absolute cutest – he even took up reading several books because of her excitement! If that’s not true love, then I don’t know what is. His caring and charming attitude had me grinning so hard throughout the book.
Get ready, fellow bibliophiles, because here is a contemporary that you cannot miss, featuring one of our own. With a unique spread of characters amidst a realistic high school setting that you can just step into, Bookishly Ever After delivers a fun and charming tale of a bookworm searching for her own happy ending.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thanks you Spencer Hill Contemporary for a review copy!
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