Sunday, 20 December 2015

Review: Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Bookishly Ever After (Ever After #1) by Isabel Bandeira
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Released: January 12th 2016
My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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? (from Goodreads)
Ahh this book was so awkward. And embarrassing. And cringey. It meant well, it really did, and I do suppose I’m not the target audience (I feel so old saying that) but I just couldn’t really enjoy it when every ten minutes I had to take a break so I could prepare myself for whatever embarrassingly ridiculous thing was going to happen next.

Phoebe was just a painfully embarrassing character. In a lot of ways, I could relate to her (being bookish especially) but then she would go and do or say the most cringey thing and I wanted to hide! The second hand embarrassment was so intense. I get that was her character and she was awkward and stuck in her book world but it was so hard to read sometimes. And the level of cheesiness in this book - ugh. I mean this is really aimed at young teens, or not yet teens, because anyone a bit older like me will just end up rolling their eyes half the time. Particularly in the parts where Phoebe’s immaturity/naivety took over a bit and she jumped to obviously wrong conclusions. Or whenever she said she had an idea - I groaned at those parts, because I didn’t even want to know what ridiculously embarrassing thing she was about to do. Phoebe had her moments though - one of my favourite scenes was her rant about characters in books always having perfect vision - it’s so true! I can’t think of any other main character who wears glasses or contacts off the top of my head except Harry Potter. Without my glasses, I’m practically blind and would die in any survival situation - and it really gets to me that all these characters in books have perfect vision. It’s so unrealistic. I mean, chances are, in a room full of people, a good portion of them will be wearing glasses or contacts. So take note, authors!

I wasn’t a huge fan of Dev, the love interest, but he did grow on me throughout the book. I think what put me off him was that flash mob at the beginning. Really? A flash mob? Ugh. Things like that get so outdated by the time a book is published, you’re better of not including it at all. I also didn’t like that scene where he acted like Phoebe’s boyfriend to get her out of a situation - could he really not come up with any better idea? He was supposed to be this amazingly creative actor! Anyway, he did seem nice and understood Phoebe and seemed to like her quirky habits so there was that. I just wasn’t really sold on why they liked each other and the relationship as a whole.

Plot-wise, the second half of this book was definitely better than the first. I really enjoyed most of the scenes at camp, and I loved the campers Phoebe was in charge of! They were so interfering, it was hilarious. The writing itself was actually also pretty good (the extracts of some of the books Phoebe was reading were interesting - at times, I wish I could be reading those instead of reading about Phoebe!).

Overall, this was a okay book. It was too cringey and cheesy for me (though I am particularly sensitive to second hand embarrassment), but a younger person might find it sweet so I don’t know. Maybe read an extract before deciding whether to pick it up or not!

1 comment:

  1. I have a friend that might be as awkward as this character. Sadly. I might actually enjoy the book but who knows. I do love that cover!

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