Hardcover, 320 pages (Reviewer’s Copy: ARC)
April 30th 2013, Balzer + Bray
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?
Source: Chyna (Thanks!)
To be honest, I liked The Boyfriend App more than I thought I would. In fact, I loved it! Let me start my review by rating the enjoyability of this novel: 95%. Throughout the book, I was entertained. There were no dull moments in the book.
I loved and was able to relate to Audrey's character. Again, I encountered an ex-popular girl in contemporary YA but this time around, I can say that she's not stuck in the mourning phase for her lost position in the social hierarchy but was focused on more important things. She was intelligent and talented. So when a Mobile App Contest was announced by Public, Audrey finally saw a solution to one of her problems. As a character, Audrey was realistic, with a balance of weaknesses and strengths that I could relate to. She used her knowledge and her "geek power" to try to make a difference in her world. She was honest and brave in her own way. What I liked most was how Audrey grew up in such a short amount of time. She dared, conquered, failed, won and learned throughout the story. But she never held grudges against anybody and that's admirable.
I liked how different kinds of relationships were explored in The Boyfriend App. I'll start with the love interest, Aidan, who was also Audrey's close friend. He was a constant throughout the book. He didn't leave Audrey's side. He was handsome, cute, charming in his own way and just so sweet at times that I found myself smiling at certain parts of the story. I wanted Aidan to be Audrey. They had this smooth, sweet and meant-to-be vibe enveloping the both of them. Meanwhile the other love interest, Xander, was a bit of mystery. There were times when he simply stood by or looked away when Blake harassed Audrey and there were other times when I thought he was about to actually say something or do something nice to Audrey. He raised a big question mark in head and near the end of the book, I understood his situation.
Lindsay, Audrey's cousin, was the most supportive friend ever. She stood by Audrey through the ups and downs of her life. She was like the sister that Audrey never had. Lindsay also, in a way, filled in the shoes of Blake - the Blake who was Audrey's best friend before. Speaking of Blake, I only felt anger, irritation and sometimes pity for her. Of course, antagonists can't be 100% bad all the time. They have their vulnerabilities and weak moments, too. I liked how Sise showed the softer side of Blake in the book as opposed to the traditional mean girl portrayal.
The Boyfriend App kept me up late at night, flipping through the pages and reading fast after weeks of slow-reading. Fun, one of a kind and balanced in more ways than one, The Boyfriend App will cater to a reader's need for something new and diverse. This book has everything: genius stuff (aka coding with detailed descriptions), fashion (this is Lindsay's thing), high school drama, family drama, lies, secrets and discoveries, love and friendship. I highly recommend this to readers of YA contemporary and geek/nerd/genius-themed stories. Readers who enjoyed Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil might like this. Readers who like high school-themed books will also this.
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