Title – ‘Bookishly Ever After’
Author – Isabel Bandeira
Publishing – January 12th 2016 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Pages – 378
Format – E-Book
Book Summary –
‘In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably one filled with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary.
Everything changes when Phoebe learns that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her. So, Phoebe turns to the heroines in her favorite books for advice on a personality overhaul. Becoming as awesome as her book characters isn’t as easy as it sounds and when another girl nets Dev for herself right from under Phoebe’s nose, she’s crushed.
Then, to up the suckage, she gets assigned as his co-counselor at a sixth grade camp and has to spend an entire week tied to the hip with the one guy on the planet she wanted to avoid. Can she make it through the potential danger of romantic bonfires and nature walks without Dev figuring out she’s still not over him, or will her counseling career end in emotional disaster? Can she ever go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?’
NOTE; I received a copy of this e-book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
*Warning – Contains MINOR spoilers*
So in reality this books sounds like the ‘perfect’ kind of read for us bookworms… because many of us can relate to it, the idea of forgetting the real world and getting lost in a world of book boyfriends, fictional worlds and wonderful writing. And whilst I respect that Bandeira made a book in which many of the readers could relate… I still felt like it missed the mark. Don’t get me wrong, this book is sweet and easy… but just a bit… lackluster and predictable.
When I started reading it was easy enough to see the main story line elements in my head before I’d even read the whole book… ‘geeky girl likes the popular guy, popular guy has no idea geeky girl exists, geeky girl then finds geeky guy, falls for geeky guy, then an challenger arrives and destroys chances of geeky girl getting geeky guy, geeky girl finds out popular guy is a jerk… then a bit of chaos erupts before geeky girl finds out that her feelings for geeky guy are reciprocated and wa-lah…‘ happy ever after… extremely predictable. Having one or two predictable elements within a story is bearable and can sometimes set up a story perfectly and actually add to said story… however when the whole thing becomes predictable and follows a very distinct and over used set up then it becomes… almost boring. Which is a shame because this book IS indeed one many of us can relate too in terms of the main character Phoebe and her love of books and fictional characters.
Talking of Phoebe and the rest of the cast… again it was predictability that ruined this book for me. Phoebe was the ‘stereotypical geek’, one with a lack of ‘social wit’ and who’s track record with the male species was practically non existent. Why can’t a modern day bookworm still be sociable, have a boyfriend and still read practically every other moment of the day? I know this isn’t the fact for many of us, as sad as that sounds, but the whole ‘stereotypical geek’ trope is a little overused to be frank.. and it’s one of the reasons why this book is so predictable.. because Phoebe herself is extremely predictable. Frankly, most of the cast of this book are very much predictable.. and fit into the stereotypical high school based rom-com. You’ve got the geek, you’ve got the cool best friend who is almost the complete opposite to the main character, you’ve got the geeky guy who didn’t get a second look until something was mentioned, you’ve got the popular guy who turns out to not be the ‘one’… there wasn’t anything or anyone surprising in this book. As a cast they were ok but just too simple… they fitted into their roles too well.
I will say that this book is an easy read… the writing style was easy enough to follow, although I admit I did find myself skipping the ‘major book excerpts’ included… simply because, for me personally, they didn’t really add anything to the story… especially when the smaller excerpts which where included throughout the chapters were perfectly fine and enough. I do feel like the book excerpts were’t always smoothly slotted in… they sometimes seemed random and lost, particularly the ones which were put at the end of chapters… I got why they were there in a sense but they still just seemed like a total waste of time.
I really don’t know what else to say about this book… it wasn’t brilliant, it was diabolical either but it just felt like a bit of a waste in the end. I know I’ve used the word predictable in this review an awful lot already but that is genuinely how I would describe this book in one simple word. The plot was predictable, the cast were predictable and the whole romance in this novel was 100% predictable! The writing style was decent and the only thing that made this book easy enough to get through to be frank… it was ok, plain and simple. There wasn’t anything, for me at least, which stood out… set it out from the crowd. It was a very typical high school based rom-com… although it slightly lacked in the ‘com’ department for me personally.
Will I be reading the next book in the series? Honestly… probably not, as much as the concept has some potential I just feel like it’s too generic. Unless there is some major plot line development in the second book then I doubt it’s going to be much different from this first novel. It was a shame… I went into this book with slightly higher expectations but came out finding it rather lackluster… something was simply missing, some kind of spark to set it out from the rest… a shame indeed. But as it is you simply can’t love them all.
Would I suggest this book to other bookworms?
Possibly… it’s an easy little rom-com…
Am I completely in love with this book?
Not so… it was too predictable
Will I be reading the next book in the series?
Unsure.. maybe… maybe not…
[I rate this book 2/5 stars]