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?

Sourced from Goodreads



My rating:


(2.75 stars)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hi, everyone! Today, I’ll be reviewing Isabel Bandeira’s Bookishly Ever After. If you follow my posts of “Down the TBR Hole” or “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”, you’ll probably know that I actually took this book off my TBR pile and decided not to read it anymore. But I guess NetGalley had other ideas! 😀 All the same, thank you NetGalley for granting my wish! It was an okay novel, overall. I just had some issues with it, but that’s mainly due to my own biases…

At first, I thought that the book was interesting, maybe because it didn’t focus on the unattainable boy Phoebe’s obsessed with… I really liked the bookishness aspect of it all (obviously 😀 )! From signings, to these little excerpts of fake books, to reading while sipping lattes and that new book smell (which is probably a candle scent at this point)! I loved it all! It’s once she starts crushing on someone who’s real and approachable that it kind of goes downhill. It’s not that I have a thing against real relationships; the thing I liked best about the unattainable guy she liked was that she spend so much of her time on him And I’ll admit, Phoebe and Dev had pretty great chemistry. The only thing I didn’t like about their burgeoning relationship was that was almost all they talked about in the book! Crushes this, crushes that, how to flirt, what to wear, to the point where I wanted to scream! Honestly, it was really a relief, those times where the characters didn’t talk about boys and did other things, like books, camp, hobbies, etc. But then again, the book wasn’t trying to hide the fact that it was boy centric; it’s in the blurb for crying out loud! So it’s kind of on me, really, for not liking it…

Another thing I didn’t like about this book was how it seemed to drag on longer than necessary. I felt like I could have been finished halfway through the book, but then “the misunderstanding” happened and made things extra difficult for our protagonist to be with her desired love interest. It really irks me when the couple doesn’t get together because of a small misunderstanding that could be rectified if someone said something. Instead, this misunderstanding ends up making the rest of the book boring and awkward, especially since the protagonist is still obsessed about her crush. The ending did kind of make up for it, though. 😉

Also, at some point in the novel, I forgot the protagonist’s name. And that has never happened to me, even with first person narrative. I don’t know when it happened, but I noticed three quarters in that I couldn’t remember her name, but could remember everyone else’s, from her sister to the random cheerleader named Cassie. It kind of bugged me until someone actually said her name, which probably had a hand in dampening my reading experience. Or maybe it was because I liked the secondary characters better than the protagonist…

In the end, even though I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would, there were just some things that bugged me. I’d still recommend this to people looking for fluffy contemporary and don’t mind slow middles. It just wouldn’t be the first contemporary I’d recommend…Well, that’s all I have to say about Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira for now! If you have any thoughts about this book, please feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

– Sumaya