Title: Dramatically Ever After (review copy)
Series: Ever After #2
Author: Isabel Bandeira
Genre/Themes: Young Adult Contemporary, Light Escapist Read, Cute Romantic Vibes
Blurb from Goodreads
Senior year is not shaping up to be the picture perfect movie Em Katsaros had imagined. Her super hot leading man is five thousand miles away. Her dad just got laid off. And Em can kiss her first-pick university goodbye if she doesn’t snag a scholarship.
To turn this Shakespearean tragedy into the Academy Award-winning dream Em has written for herself, she enters a speech competition and manages to cinch a spot in the US Youth Change Council national round. She gets to spend a week in Boston and her prayers might be answered if she can kick butt and win one of the national scholarships.
Everything seems to be going by the script until she finds out Kris Lambert—senior class president, stuck-up jerk, and her nemesis—is going, too. Cue the dramatic music. In Boston, Kris is different. Nice. Cute, even. But she knows his game way too well—be nice to your opponents and then throw them under the bus on your way to victory. Instead of becoming his next victim, Em decides to turn the tables by putting her acting and flirting skills to work. Unfortunately, as they get close to the final competition and judging, reality and acting start to blur.
Can Em use the drama from the stage to get the future she’s been dreaming of?
Way back in February 2016 I read the cutest of the cute books! It was called Bookishly Ever After and I think I recommended it to pretty much anyone who would listen to me. I described it at the time as being akin to eating a whole bag of marshmallows. Sweet and soft and may leave you with a slight tummy ache….but utterly WORTH it!!! You can read my review of it here.
So sometime in 2017 while perusing NetGalley I saw that it had a sequel called Dramatically Ever After but I was either too late to request it or only was able to wish for it??? And wish for it I did… well I assume I did because I’ve actually forgotten but last week I got an email saying my wish had been granted! Only nearly three years after the event but still time for much rejoicing!!!
Dramatically Ever After isn’t a traditional sequel in the sense that there wasn’t a cliffhanger between books one and two or similar. Instead it is a sort of companion novel that can easily be read as a stand-alone that chooses to focus on a different person from the same group of friends that appeared in Bookishly Ever After. So where Bookishly was all about bookish Phoebe, Dramatically puts the focus on Em who is all about the drama! She’s a wannabe actor but also a bit of a drama queen lol!
Em was actually my favourite supporting character in Bookishly. I thought she was a completely wonderful best friend to Phoebe so I was quite excited to read a book from her perspective.
The premise for this book is that both Em and her sworn enemy Kris have both been chosen to represent their home state of New Jersey at an American Speech Competition for High School students. And they are sent away to Boston for a week for the competition where they are constantly forced together in a variety of trips and events and well…. hello one of my favourite tropes! It’s enemies to lovers time WOO HOO!!!
And this book was just another fluffy delight. It was entirely predictable but that was exactly what I wanted. It was a book that had cute set ups…. think cute and cosy coffee shops and funny dining room high jinxes!! It had ridiculous obstacles in the way of our two wannabe love birds such as being hung up on pesky exes and just general blinkeredness about realising that you actually like the boy you thought was the antithesis of everything you wanted in a friend and partner.
Basically if you want your stereotype rom-com boxes ticked then this book does exactly that.
And I really enjoyed it…
I have a few quibbles though which are making me give this a slightly lower rating than I gave Bookishly Ever After.
The whole enemies aspect seemed a bit overplayed for me. I think there wasn’t enough common ground between Em and Kris to start with so it actually was a bit more difficult to get on board with shipping these two characters.
And bless her but Em…. didn’t quite have the same charm in this book as she did in book one. She really was very irrational and acted in a rather over-the-top fashion when it came to dealing with her ex Wilhelm. For a smart girl she just acted so naively and I did want to shake her rather than feel empathetic with her plight on more than one occasion. So I guess she was very in keeping with the book title as she truly was a very dramatic character.
But overall I still had a fun time reading this and the ending was as delicious and perfect as I had hoped.
There has since been a third book released, Practically Ever After, and I’m definitely going to have to read that one too.
An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review