Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise (ARC)

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Balzar + Bray (an imprint of Harper Collins), 320 pages
Expected US Release Date: April 30, 2013
Format: Print ARC
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Challenges: Contemporary Challenge, Standalone Challenge

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?
-----------------Goodreads summary
Notable Quote
In math or code, these sorts of anomalies don't happen. Formula + Predictable Outcome = Safe.
I wanted to love this book so much, guys. It seemed like such a fun concept, and I loved the idea of an app that would match you with your perfect guy/person. I mean, I was also super glad it didn't actually exist when I was in high school because there was already enough drama without that technological enhancement, but in my reading? Love it. Thought it would be fantastic and funny and playful.

I think you can seen an "unfortunately" coming, right?

This book was surprising, in both a good and bad way. It's a bit weird to me, actually - it went in a direction I did not expect, and while I get it, I thought it was a strange direction to go in. I would never have even thought to take on a more scientific route, and I kind of question it. At the same time, it wasn't done poorly or anything - in fact, it was pretty interesting and I kind of liked getting to see the intelligence behind these nerds (or Trogs, as they are called in the novel). Just unexpected, and a little weird.

And I have to mention that there were some scenes that were so...awkwardly violent. I mean, it begins with Audrey getting her head shoved so hard into a trash bin she passes out. And with a cover like that? So out of place. There were a few other scenes where girls were throwing punches, and it was just...I didn't like it. I'm not adverse to some violence, but only when it makes sense. I feel like this book could still have had the action at the core, but perhaps different word choices to make it less cruel. I definitely cringed whenever these scenes came up, no matter how few they were.

Despite all this, I actually enjoyed The Boyfriend App. I loved going through the process of creating this app with Audrey and seeing it through, and I really appreciated that it wasn't an immediate success. There was an element of reality and truth throughout this entire story that I really appreciated, and really made me like it. Audrey is actually a pretty good character herself, well rounded and quirky, with her own unique brand of endearing. She's a lot like me, and a lot like many people I know - a great character to really connect with.

In fact, probably the best thing about this book were the characters and the relationships. There are a few villains in it, and even though they are pretty stereotypical, they are still great characters to hate and the reader completely feels towards them. The friendships Audrey had were also fantastic. I loved her fellow nerds, especially Mindy - who is brilliant because you learn to love her when she doesn't even talk for 85% of the book! I was surprised to figure out that Lindsay was definitely my favourite female character - she's nothing like me, but I still loved her all the same. She's a bit flighty and a fashion blogger who appears so vain it hurts...but as you get to know her, you discover she is smart, and loyal, and funny and open an a real friend.

Of course, I have to mention the boys in this novel, who are all fine in their own way. I wasn't a fan of Xander, even though I felt like he was trying to be painted as a decent guy. I wanted to cry every time Briggs Lick appeared on the pages, because that name is so ridiculous I can't even. And of course, I loved Aiden - he's amazing and perfect and a little too perfect but I'll take him anyway. A fantastic friend, super cute love interest, and great character to want and love.

There are two books this one reminded me of: Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Clair (read my review here!) in that I was so surprised by all the science and intelligence in the book. It's unexpected and a little odd, but I really appreciate that the authors are trying to put this in books that could be simple contemporary romances. And the book Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer (read my review here!), in that it's about strong, smart girl characters who find something lacking in their life and go after making it better. The Boyfriend App is missing the heart that I loved so much in Smart Girls Get..., but it's still a good attempt, and I don't regret reading it.

The Boyfriend App is a bit weird, in a way I'm not certain it should have been - but it's got some fantastic characters, an interesting storyline, and surprising intelligence to it.

3 stars / 5


  1. BystanderApril 2, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    This one sounds like it's a book that reads like a really good Indie movie! Not for everyone, but quirky!

  2. MichelleApril 2, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    This is one of my most anticipated for 2013 for sure!! I love the idea of it and the cover is beautiful. I actually really want to read Don't You Wish and Smart Girls as well... all 3 sound like books I would like! I hope I like the direction this one goes in since I've been looking at it since November!!

  3. fakestephApril 2, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Interesting. This one looks cute and I would never have expected any scenes of real violence in it from the cover. The whole math/love thing reminds me of what I think An Abundance of Katherines is going to be about. I'm reading it May, finally. :)

  4. UnknownApril 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    My review of this went up yesterday, Ashley. And yeah, we felt very much the same:)

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  6. Alexa S.April 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I'm still pretty excited about this one! It sounds really awesome, and I think the idea of girl nerds and an app to match you up with your perfect boy is going to be fun to read about.


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