Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

“Well, put that to bed, folks. At least Phoebe was listening to the opening lyrics” -LeVar Burton, host of Reading Rainbow

Bookishly Ever After is a cute geek-girl (vice chick lit) novel, romantic and heart breaking at the same time. I was giddy with the delight over the main character, Phoebe, and her crazy personality, one that I kinda was and kinda wished I could have been in high school. Phoebe reads as the pinnacle of geeks – a knitter who makes money from her craft; a reader who is lucky enough to find book after book of characters she identifies with; a somewhat nerdy high schooler who falls for an attractive, popular, non-WASPy guy. So yeah, I was totally rooting for her and this book. I have to admit that I was somewhat underwhelmed by the gentle arc of the storyline, which (as reflected in Phoebe’s own many references to other novels) was not unique and which lingered a bit too long in the uncertainty status of the main relationship. What kept me reading was the author’s authentic voice, her geeky references, the pleasant and somewhat realistic depiction of high school (yippee for a gay couple, but I defy someone to find me a girl who has pulled the makeover reveal off successfully). My absolutely favorite part of reading this novel was dipping into the author’s incredible sub-stories, only half told through Phoebe’s book of quotes and mental gymnastics as she moves in and out of relationships. They were rich and left me wanting, like a fantasy worthy kiss that takes place mid-plot. Every time I reflected that the story might be getting too geeky perfect and unrealistic, I remembered that the era of the nerd has arrived. I mean, I too learned how to shoot a bow because of a fan girl crush on a fantasy heroine or three (Alanna, Dane, Kel). And look where it got me!

3.4/5
4 for reading it all the way through in one sitting

2 for story arc as it was very predictable and that took away from the whole package

3 expanding my horizons since I now have a curious desire to knit, which has NEVER happened before

4 for humor/cleverness… the geek in me related strongly to the many references, and delighted in each and every one

4 for voice since the stories, especially the teased ones the narrator mentions, were fun and interesting and felt worthy of a reader’s time.

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