Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (The Book About Me as a Teenager) – Review

January 11, 2016 Reviews 24 ★★★½

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (The Book About Me as a Teenager) – ReviewBookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Series: Ever After #1
Published by Spencer Hill Press on 1/12/15
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 350
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
My rating:
3.5 Stars

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?

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My Take

First off, I have to say that I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book ever since I met Isabel Bandeira at BEA in 2014 – she was sweet and fun and dressed in quirky bright dresses, and I could just tell that her book was going to be adorable, just like her. I was right.

The book centers around Phoebe, who is a bookish introvert, much more comfortable living in her stories than in the real world. When she finds out that her friend Dev may have a crush on her, she has no idea how to respond. So she goes to her best source of relationship advice – her books. Phoebe decides that if she can pull off the actions (and sometimes, personalities) of her favorite bookish heroines, she’ll be able to finally get the guy. Of course, things don’t go quite that smoothly.

What I enjoyed:

  • Bookish love! Phoebe lives with her nose stuck in a book. It was great fun to see her extreme fangirling (she dresses up as her favorite character a few times throughout the book). And her attempts at trying to solve her relationship woes by making notes about her favorite romantic book scenes were cute and sweet.
  • Diversity. Not only did Phoebe have a friend who was gay (which was never made any sort of issue in the book – it just was), but Dev, the love interest, was Indian. It was SO refreshing to see a non-caucasian love interest. His race and religion were definitely highlighted throughout the book (my favorites were the Bollywood references), but again, they weren’t focal points of the story and didn’t cause conflict in any sort of way.
  • Dev. Dev was exactly the type of boy who I would have been in love with when I was a teenager – cute and funny and even a little bit nerdy (in a theatre geek sort of way – I was one, so I’m allowed to say that). In short, he was adorable!!

Neutral:

  • Too realistic? As I read this book, I kept thinking that Phoebe could have been me when I was that age. I was very shy, naive and immature when it came to boys and would never admit a crush, even when I was directly asked (I’m pretty sure I missed out on one or two dating opportunities that way – when a boy had his friend fishing for crush confessions and I would not give them up!). I was also incredibly bookish – you could pretty much always find me with a book in my hand – though I wasn’t as into romance at that age as Phoebe was. So, that’s great, right? Who doesn’t want to see themselves as a book character? But, here’s the problem – I’ve often thought about myself as a teenager and realized I wouldn’t have made a great main character in a book. Phoebe’s inability to take any sort of risks when it came to boys was sometimes terribly frustrating – this was the type of book where there was no actual conflict. The only thing keeping Dev and Phoebe apart was their absolute inability to admit that they were crushing on each other. This was okay at first, but it eventually got tiring. BUT, I can’t help but think that if I had read this book when I was a teenager, I would have SO related to Phoebe and I would have LOVED it! I would have felt a kinship with this poor girl and I would have adored seeing her eventually get to her happily ever after. I would have felt like there was hope for me! (There was, by the way – I ended up marrying the boy I started dating my senior year in high school.) So, because of that, I really feel like this book is perfect for the younger (or slightly more naive) YA set. It’s really perfect for them!

The negatives:

  • Pacing was a bit slow. I think that this was mostly because of my last point about Phoebe’s personality and the lack of actual conflict, but I just wanted to mention it here because it was the one thing that held me back from completely loving the book.

So, overall, I thought that this book was an adorable, sweet read, and I highly recommend it to younger YA readers or anyone in the mood for a light, fluffy YA romance. I give it 3.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About the Author

Isabel-BandeiraIsabel Bandeira grew up surrounded by trees and lakes in Southern New Jersey, right on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Her summers were always spent in Portugal, where the cathedrals, castles, and ancient tombs only fed her fairy tale obsession. Between all those influences and her serious glitter addiction, it wasn’t a surprise when she started writing stories of her own.

In her free time between writing and her day job as a Mechanical Engineer who designs and develops medical devices, she reads, dances, figure skates, and knits.

Isabel lives in New Jersey with her little black cat, too many books, and a closetful of vintage hats. She is represented by Carrie Howland of Donadio and Olson, Inc.

BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is her debut novel.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png 

 

24 Responses to “Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (The Book About Me as a Teenager) – Review”

  1. SDCB Steph

    I don’t read a lot of YA romance, but I am in love with the story line of this book. It sounds like a really fun read. Thanks for the review.

  2. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Though this isn’t my usual book-fare, I think I want to read it^^ I’m curious now to see if the heroine might be too much like me though, just like you felt, but who can resist such a bookish character! And to be honest, she really does sound like she’d remind me of myself at that age too. It might just be one of those books though that, like you said, would have been better read as a teenager. In any case, thanks for sharing your thoughts here Nicole and I’m glad you enjoyed this for the most part 🙂

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: Abhorsen
  3. Maya @ Suddenly Inundated

    I really want to try out this book! People seem quite impressed with it! Looking at my TBR I have 0 books that are light, and fun reads, so I really want to try out this book! It sounds super relatable, and I agree, almost too relatable. But as a proud teenager myself, maybe you are right and I will enjoy it! This is a book I definitely need to pick up!

  4. Lisa @ Lost in Literature

    Aww, sorry this was a bit slow for you. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m definitely excited to. I had the pleasure of having Issy on my blog today with an interview of Phoebe and Dev, and it was so much FUN! Now I’m definitely looking forward to meeting these two characters. I’m hoping to read this next week after we finish the read-a-thon. Glad you enjoyed it overall! 🙂

  5. S. J. Pajonas

    Full disclosure, Isabel is a dear friend of mine and I’ve read this book NUMEROUS times in many forms. I was one of her first crit partners and beta readers! 🙂 God, I love this book because I could SO relate to Phoebe. It hit all of my “happy” points and I was ecstatic when she got her agent and book deal! She’s written more with some of the side characters and they are all wonderful too. I hope everyone gets to read them as well someday. <3

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Book Chat #22
    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      Oh, see now I love Isabel even more!! She is the type of person who just instantly shines when you meet her – I stood in line with her for like an hour and was a complete and utter Isabel fan by the time I got out of it. And Phoebe was completely me as well. Adult me got a little frustrated with Phoebe and Dev’s inability to talk to each other, but teen me would have SO related to this – and since this book is written for teen me, I think that Isabel nailed it!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      This is one that might appeal to the actual teen set a bit more than it does to us, Danielle. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading it – just that the whole time I had an awareness that my teen self would have been loving it more.

  6. Wendy

    I don’t read a lot of reviews, except for books I’ve already read, but I started reading this and couldn’t stop. Very balanced and clear. I might pick it up for my classroom.

    I NEVER told anyone if I had a crush on someone. Not even my best friend. Weird, right? What were we worried about?

  7. Olivia Roach

    Oh now this book certainly does sound interesting to me! I’m just imagining a bookish main character and loving the idea of that. I also really like the sound of Dev and that his culture comes into it as well. It certainly does sound like a refreshing read. Maybe not one that has the potential to be a favourite, but one to read just to have fun at some point when you need a pick-me-up book!

    Olivia Roach recently posted: My Hoarding Catastrophe: It Wasn't Me!
  8. Jaime Lester

    Even though I am 33, this sounds too cute to resist! I was a lot like Phoebe myself. By the way, it is completely awesome that you married the boy you started dating your senior year! Those are always some of my favorite real life romance stories!

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