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?
This companion novel to Bookishly Ever After brought me back to a cast of characters I fell in love with and, this time, put the spotlight on theatre and the world of competitive speeches. There were so many movie and theatre references, along with some of Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon(those were definitely my favourite). This book was really cute, had great character growth, and I had a lot of fun going back into the Ever After universe. I can’t wait to see who will be staring in the third book.
Em, the main character in this sequel, loved the theatre, loved performing, and often made references toward movies and actresses she loved. Her ability to act and harness her emotions into her scenes really helped when she delivered speeches. I really loved seeing her grow into herself as the story went on, becoming more confident in her own abilities instead of hiding behind a character. The dynamic she had with Kris was a lot of fun to read and reminded me a bit of the Anne/Gilbert dynamic from Anne of Green Gables. They drove each other crazy and argued all the time but there were definitely always underlying feelings.
This group of friends was so much fun to read. They were all so close, the chemistry in that group of friends that was a huge draw in the first book was back in this one. Even with Em in Boston for a lot of the book, we still got to see the group of friends interacting, either before, after, or by phone and text throughout her speech competition. The romance was also a lot of fun. I loved seeing Em and Kris debate over everything.
I really liked the speech writing aspect of the story as well. Em was vying for a scholarship so she could attend the college she wanted instead of her parents’ choice but she was insecure about her actual talent for writing since she thought performing was where she excelled. It was interesting to see her work with her mentor to improve her speech and see her perform the final result.
This book was a very cute read, one perfect for sitting outside in the Summer or curling up in a chair by a fire. This is a universe I really have come to love and I can’t wait to visit it again.
*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.