Bookishly Ever After
by Isabel Bandeira
book one in the Ever After series
published January 19th 2016 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
young adult | contemporary | 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?
BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER IN A NUTSHELL
I tried so hard to like this, but it got on every. Single. Nerve. I wanted to strangle everyone; the book was so predictable; there’s nothing here that you haven’t read in other cheesy YA romances. I’m actually just proud of myself for finishing this.
THINGS I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER
I’ve been waiting for this book to come out since it was announced in 2014. The synopsis promised a book for book addicts to love and to be able to relate to. Unfortunately, I just wanted to
RIP EVERYONE’S THROATS OUT *coughs* get the book over with when I finally got around to read it. While I did LOVE the idea of the book, there were just too many tropes and stereotypes in it. So, no. Nuh-uh, not for me. So let me elaborate on my violent instincts:
1. Every single stereotype in this book deserves a kick in the nuts.
Okay, books can’t avoid character stereotypes. It’s a given! The best a book can do is to tone this down, right? Well, this book did the exact opposite. The tropes were so strong and wrong and unrealistic and I JUST WANTED EVERYONE TO GO AWAY. Let’s take our booknerd heroine, for example. Reading while you’re having lunch? Acceptable. Using books and book characters as a guide for flirting and for life in general?! Weird. As. Heck. IT WAS TOO MUCH EVEN FOR MY BOOK-LOVING BRAIN.
Also, I would like to give a special shoutout to the cheerleaders-can’t-be-bookworms trope very much highlighted in the book. Fuck you, I’m both. Excuse my French, I just needed this to be out there.
2. The book is pretty much a copy-pasted compilation of typical YA contemporary romance scenes.
*WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS* There’s nothing in the storyline here that I haven’t already read about in other YA books. We’ve got your typical homecoming scenes, camping scenes, makeover scenes–what else is missing? This book has all of those things and all the other scenes I’m sick of in contemporary.
3. I only liked one character out a BAJILLION of them.
There were SO MANY side characters, and personally, I thought some of them were a biiiiit unnecessary. Their personalities just blended in together for me, and you don’t really need lots of characters who are all basically the same person.
The ONLY character I liked was the love interest, who was, thank the gods, sweet, cute, and actually made sense. He was pretty much the only saving grace of the entire story for me.