Review: Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Book Reviews

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

4 Stars

I really enjoyed reading Bookishly Ever After, it was sooooo cute! Relatable, swoony, diverse, and the perfect book to start off 2016.  Phoebe reminded me so much of my high school self, as I’m sure many other bookworms can relate. I didn’t read YA in high school (2000-2004, I’m ancient) but I did read a lot of Harry Potter and spy thrillers; I was quiet, somewhere in the middle of the social hierarchy, had a great group of friends (def crushed on one of them), and had a fantasy crush on a super hot guy one year older than me who didn’t know I existed. So yes, I relate :P

One cool thing about this book is that we got to read parts of Phoebe’s favorite books! She was using all the romance tropes and tips in her fantasy and paranormal books for dating advice, and honestly, I wanted to read those books too! I really appreciated that the author didn’t name drop current titles, which would make the book feel dated. Instead, she created original titles and excerpts with very familiar characters and storylines, so you definitely got the point. And Phoebe is a YA nut, I love it! I’ve had the feelings she experiences while reading and talking about books, and the scene waiting for her favorite author’s book signing was pitch perfect. I loved the way Bookishly Ever After embraced bookworm culture.

I also loved that Phoebe wasn’t just a bookworm though; she knits, she practices archery, she goes to dances, and she has close relationships with her friends and family. I loved her group of friends! They tended to be cliches on the outside but so much more once you got to know them. Grace is a popular blonde cheerleader with a girlfriend, Em is the dramatic but loyal theater geek, Alec is a quiet Jewish guy (and the character I feel like we got to know the least), and Dev is the Indian love interest with a flair for musical theater and good-natured teasing. It’s a well-rounded group! The background characters aren’t as notable; there are mean girls, vapid jocks, and run of the mill parents. Also you guys: the romance and flirting and omg-I-think-my-friend-has-a-crush-on-me-do-I-like-him-back was SO GREAT! Phoebe was awkward but not in a cringeworthy way and Dev was adorable. I loved their relationship when Phoebe actually let her guard down once in a while and acted like herself.

There *is* quite a bit of miscommunication which made me want to shake Phoebe because OH MY GOD GIRL, but you know how these books go. And the journey was flirty and cute as heck. We even get a really fun camp counselor sequence in the second half! It reminded me of working with 5th graders and talking Twilight and Harry Potter with them. Connecting with favorite books is great no matter the age of the reader.

Unfortunately, the formatting of the eArc almost made it unreadable- words were out of order and missing, it was irritating. However, I’m glad I kept reading and I’m happy that I preordered a finished copy. I also didn’t love the (totally believable) miscommunication and Phoebe was frustrating at times (sadly reminding me of myself as a teen haha), but I really loved the friendships, the romance, and the diversity of the characters themselves and their hobbies. Bookishly Ever After is a super cute fluffy contemporary that I definitely recommend for fans of The Art of Lainey, Meant to Be, and Anna and the French Kiss. It’s the first in a series of what I’m hoping are companion books. I’d love to get to know more about Alec and I’m sure Em will get her own book too!

Book Info

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Series: Ever After #1
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Pub Date: January 19th 2016
Pages: 350
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: ContemporaryRomanceYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

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?

About Isabel Bandeira

Isabel Bandeira

Isabel 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, IncBOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is her debut novel.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

20 Responses to “Review: Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira”

  1. Avatar

    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

    Oh this sounds good! It wasn’t originally on my radar but it is now! And props for the Ben Mckenzie gifs! LOL. That was when I was in HS too and I was all about the HP too, but otherwise I didn’t read YA either.

    The miscommunication and Phoebe being frustrated will probably irritate me too a bit, but I think everything else you mentioned will make up for it. I am all for great friendships!

    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Can’t go wrong with some OC gifs, especially Ryan and Taylor :D Yeah it’s funny, I have no memory of teen books at all back then! It was definitely irritating but part of Phoebe reminded me of myself so I cut her some slack haha. Hope you enjoy it if you read it!

  2. Avatar

    Lyn Kaye

    This sounds so beautifully light and meta! I was really worried that it was a name-dropping excuse of a novel, but now I am so interested in picking it up! Thank you for clearing up my misconception of the book! <3

  3. Avatar

    Alexa S.

    Bookishly Ever After does sound absolutely adorable! When I find myself in the mood for a cute contemporary YA, I might just have to give this one a shot. (I can never resist a book where the main character is bookish.)

  4. Avatar


    This book wasn’t on my radar at all, but it sounds so cute! I have a feeling I would relate to Phoebe as well, haha. I also like the sound of the ship, because friends-to-romance tropes are usually great (if frustrating, as you said). Thanks for the review! :)

  5. Avatar


    I love your reviews because you find these books I somehow missed and then you make me realize how much I need to read them. This sounds like such a great read — I was a lot like you in HS except perhaps a bit more snobby in my reading tastes (I went through this truly terrible I WILL ONLY REAL LIIIITERATURE phase it is so embarassing) so I can see this making a lot of the same connections for me.

    I can’t say miscommunication plot devices are far from my favorite but I can forgive a lot if I have emotional feelings about the characters/the ship. Especially since you compared it to some of my very favorite YA contemps. This is def going on the “eventually I must own this” list.

    Also — that suuuucks about the eARC! I hate that. It happened to me with this book Ultraviolet and it was hard to read but so good and worth it so I know how much you liked this to keep going through that.


    • Avatar

      Morgan @ Gone with the Words

      Yay that makes me happy! You definitely do the same for me with your reviews. Hahahah oh Jessie :P I was just all about Harry Potter and spies and British chick lit I guess lol! Yeah I think in this case the miscommunication is worth it because it felt more genuine to me. I mean honestly. I neeeever believed when someone had a crush on me! So many I related to Phoebe a lot in this instance and gave her some leeway. It’s a cute book :) NO JESSIE I LOVE YOUR COMMENTS, NEVER END! <3

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