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Dramatically Ever After: Ever After Book Two (2) Paperback – June 20, 2017
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From School Library Journal
"It’s a song as old as rhyme, set in New Jersey this time.
An aspiring professional actress, mixed-race teen Em Katsaros, whose mother is African-American and whose father is first-generation Greek-American, has a lot riding on winning a national speech competition. The grand-prize money can pay for her freshman year at Rutgers—and maybe convince her oh-so-practical parents that acting is not a dead-end career path. It seems that the only roadblock to achieving her dream is Kris Lambert, scion of the premier mega-wealthy, white family in their town of Lambertfield. He thinks that she is a drama queen. She thinks that he is a smarmy jerk. When they are both chosen to represent New Jersey in the competition in Boston, the stage is set for Em to re-evaluate her nemesis. Bandeira’s (Bookishly Ever After, 2016) second novel owes Jane Austen a huge debt of gratitude for its overall formula and structure. The pacing is nimble and the dialogue frequently snappy, but the story ultimately fails to rise above its modern–Pride and Prejudice formula. Certain elements, such as Em’s inexplicable love for her absentee foreign-exchange-student boyfriend whose only admirable quality is his making out, strain credulity. The romantic narrative conclusion is never in doubt, but the tale nicely cautions against believing preconceived notions and provides enough humor to entertain along the way.
A sure crowd-pleaser for its intended romance-loving audience. (Fiction. 12-16)" — Kirkus Review
"Gr 6–10—In this sequel to Bookishly Ever After, two teen friends are facing college applications and other more serious life issues. Em (Ephemia) Katsaros, a talented actress, is desperate to attend a university with a world-class drama program, not the more local (free) college where her mom works. Money is very tight, as her dad is unemployed, so Em is checking out every scholarship opportunity. The big one is a speech contest. Em is chosen as one of 100 young men and women to participate in the U.S. Youth Change Council, representing New Jersey. She has tough competition, not least from the male representative of her state, her stuck-up nemesis and classmate Kris Lambert. The event takes place over the course of a week, in Boston, where the 100 high school students are mentored prior to their final presentations, and Em is experiencing self-doubt. In order to psych out Kris, whose game plan is to be nice to his rivals and then decimate them, she decides to flirt with him and throw him off balance. They predictably begin to fall for each other. Teens familiar with reality shows such as American Idol and academic competitions will be a ready audience for this well-plotted, gently humorous, and relatable novel. VERDICT A great addition for those seeking sweet, lighthearted YA fare.—Susan Riley, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY" — School Library Journal
- Publisher : Spencer Hill Press (June 20, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 370 pages
- ISBN-10 : 163392100X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1633921009
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Grade level : 7 - 12
- Item Weight : 14.7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,035,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Then there's the fact that Em's dad just got laid off. With money tight and the future uncertain, Em has to hustle for scholarships if she wants to be able to afford to attend her first choice university and its amazing acting program.
Luckily, Em has the perfect plan. All she has to do is channel her scene-stealing acting skills for a speech competition. Making it to the national round of the US Youth Change Council competition means a week in Boston and the chance to win a national scholarship.There's only one thing standing in her way: Kris Lambert--senior class president, total jerk, Em's long-time nemesis, and unbelievably her fellow state representative for New Jersey.
Kris seems different once they get to Boston, but Em isn't easily fooled. With so much on the line, Em is willing to do whatever it takes to secure her win--even if it means she'll have to pretend to flirt with Kris to throw him off is his game. But as the final competition gets closer, Em starts to realize her strategy to foil Kris might have spectacularly backfired when Kris starts to give as good as he gets in Dramatically Ever After (2017) by Isabel Bandeira.
Dramatically Ever After is the second book in Bandeira's Ever After trilogy which begins with Em's best friend Phoebe in Bookishly Ever After. Each book in the series functions as a standalone so they can be read independently.
As the title suggests, Em is a dramatic narrator who is always ready to add a little drama to her life whether it means pretending to flirt with Kris during their trip to Boston or over romanticizing her long-distance relationship that may have run its course. Em isn't always the nicest or easiest heroine. She embraces those parts of her personality and has no patience for anyone who is unwilling to accept all of her on her own terms.
Kris and Em are great foils as both are incredibly aware of each other's strategies to win the speech competition and determined to prove who's the best once and for all. As a result Dramatically Ever After is filled with witty banter and aggressive flirting on both sides as Em and Kris start to realize they might have met their match in each other (and that it might not be a bad thing).
Dramatically Ever After brings readers back to Lambertfield and all of its wonderful characters while also expanding the world and giving readers a new perspective on everyone's favorite drama queen. Romantic comedy style plots, writing that gets better with each installment, and swoons galore make this series a winner. Be sure to start it now so you're ready when book three, Practically Ever After, hits shelves!
Possible Pairings: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre, Nothing by Annie Barrows, A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Royals by Rachel Hawkins, Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks, Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis, The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan, Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roate, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti, Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
One thing that I didn't like as much as I was hoping I would, was the main character. The main character, Em, was just a little too dramatic for my tastes. I know that she was into theater and the title literally has the word "dramatic" in it, but her dramatic antics were a little much to handle at times. Em also tended to exaggerate everything and judge people a lot, which both bothered me. However, all that being said, I did admire a lot of things about Em. I liked how determined she was and how she would do whatever it took to achieve her dreams. It was really inspiring to see her go after her goals.
The romance in the book was a bit cliche, but it was still very adorable. The banter between Em and Kris made my heart flutter and put a smile on my face! The romantic moments were extremely cute, but I do wish there would have been even more romantic scenes in this book. I WANT MORE CUTE SCENES BETWEEN EM AND KRIS, PLEASE.
Also, Kris was an adorable cinnamon roll that I just want to hug all the time.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book! I would have liked a little more excitement in the plot development, but as a whole, this was a quick and endearing read!
3 / 5 Fangs
*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: As much as you might think I'd relate to Isabel Bandeira's prior heroine, Phoebe Martins, I actually liked Em Katsaros more.
The synopsis for Dramatically Ever After actually had me expecting money and poverty to play a bigger role in the story, and I was kind of disappointed they didn't. I did like how Em had a plan and a goal that drove this book; it isn't just a romance, y'all. Her family felt a little two-dimensional, so more development for them would've been nice. I did like that Grace and Alec got a slightly bigger role in this book than they did in Bookishly Ever After, even though Phoebe is still definitely Em's BFF. (Also I loved the little moments we got with Phoebe and her boyfriend.) I also liked that we got new characters, like Ann and Geoff and the other competitors in the speech contest.
The romance is very much hate-to-love, and even before Em realizes it (because she's still stuck on her sort-of ex, Wil), she and Kris have intense chemistry. Hate-to-love stories can be very enjoyable, and I liked that Em and Kris debated and disagreed but still found ways to be nice to each other.
Language was relatively mild. Romance had a few almost PG-13 moments.
The Verdict: A bit of a slow read but still enjoyable.