Genre: Contemporary Age Range: YA Star Rating: 5 stars Series: final book in trilogy
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE PAPER AND HEARTS SOCIETY and READ WITH PRIDE*
Ed is excited. He’s just landed his dream job at beautiful independent bookshop, Woolf and Wilde, but he soon discovers being a bookseller is a very different game to being a customer – the hours of shelving books, logging ISBNs and dealing with customers is overwhelming. So Ed does what Ed does best – smiles enthusiastically, fist pumps the air, and pretends that everything is totally under control. He just hadn’t bargained on his new colleague, Hannah, seeing through his façade.
Then Ed discovers that his mum is dating for the first time since splitting up with his dad. He decides to distract himself by being the best bookseller Woolf and Wilde has ever seen, but will it be at the cost of his Paper & Hearts Society friendships?
If Ed can find a way to be himself, he might find making new friends and keeping old ones comes more naturally, and even get to know himself a little better in the process. Can Ed let his guard down for the love of books?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
I’m not a big reader of contemporary generally (it’s mid-May at the time of writing this and I’m at 85% SFF, horror, and dystopia), but I adore this series. They’re some of the few contemporaries where I can really see myself in these characters who love books and that’s brought them together into a close knit group. They’re a group of friends who are completely comfortable around each other to be themselves, even if others would call them odd.
Ed is a great narrator. The most enthusiastic and bombastic of the friends, he was always a complete laugh in the other books, and seeing him get centre stage was great, and a lot of giggles. Plus, he loves Shakespeare, so how can he be bad?
It’s not all laughter though. Lucy Powrie’s books so far have all really stood out for being inclusive and tackling tricky topics, and BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is no different. Hannah, the love interest, is Autistic and Ed is dealing with the uncertainty around his mother dating again and his father pushing toxic ideals of masculinity onto him.
We also get to see a m/f best friendship! Yes to more YA books where a girl and a boy can be best friends without it turning into a romance.
Like the previous entries, BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is multimedia. There group chats, DMs, and texts are back, but this time we also get entries from Hannah’s blog. Without every being site-specific, the multimedia aspect helps it feel more realistic as it is the way we communicate these days. Hannah’s blog also helped really get into her perspective, as she’s not the narrator but a super important character and new to the cast. The other characters have all had 2 books to be familiar, but she hasn’t.
The end of the trilogy! I’m so sad to see it finish because I deeply, deeply love these books. It’s so nice to find a series all about books and friendship and parts of life that aren’t always talked about.
Read my reviews of other books by Lucy Powrie:
The Paper and Hearts Society (this series):