ARC Review: The Pretty App by Katie Sise

Posted on 04/01/2015 in Book Review / 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: The Pretty App by Katie SiseThe Pretty App by Katie Sise
Published by Balzer + Bray on 4/14/2015
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Poor Blake Dawkins! She's rich, she's gorgeous, and she's the queen bee of Harrison High. The girls want to be her; the boys want to—okay, enough said. But it turns out Blake’s life is not so perfect—just talk to her dad, who constantly reminds her that she's not up to par, or to her ex-bff, Audrey, who doesn't even look her in the eye.\r\n\r\nThen Harrison—and every other high school in America—becomes obsessed with posting selfies on the ubiquitous Pretty App. Next: Leo, an adorable transfer student, arrives at Harrison and begins to show Blake that maybe being a queen bee doesn't mean being a queen bitch. And though Audrey suspects somebody’s playing foul, Blake finds herself catapulted to internet fame after being voted one of the prettiest girls in the country. She's whisked away to star in a reality show—in Hollywood, on live TV. But she doesn’t know who to trust. Because everybody on the show wants to win.\r\n\r\nAnd nobody is there to make friends.\r\n\r\nThe Boyfriend App author Katie Sise spins another irresistible tale of technology, secrets, and big-time romance in this story of what it takes to be #trulybeautiful.

I really, really liked The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise.  I had no idea it was going to be book one in a series of companion novels, so when I saw The Pretty App, I knew I definitely wanted to read it. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in the story.  There were parts that I thought were just hysterical, and others that had me questioning why I was reading it in the first place.

Here are some things that bothered me

  1. Blake was painted as a pretty heinous character in The Boyfriend App, and I liked hating her.  She was such a bitch!  So I just didn’t buy into her 180-degree about-face to be a better person.  People don’t change that much that quickly!
  2. I was never invested in the Blake/Leo romance.  Here’s this seemingly nice guy who is also brilliant and even though Blake was kind of a snarky bitch, he still liked her anyway.  THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN.
  3. The reality show portion just didn’t feel believable.  It read like Sise wanted to get from point A to point C, without giving B any real meat in the story.  Quick!  Let’s get through this reality show so we can get to a HEA!  So much time was spent on the build-up to it, and not enough time on the actual event.
  4. I never connected with the friendship Blake and Audrey sort of maybe rekindled.
  5. All of a sudden, all the trogs are rooting for her, after she treated them like complete shit?  THIS ALSO DOES NOT HAPPEN.
  6. The ending was too clean for all the shitty things Blake had done.  What happened to karma?!
  7. It was sadly predictable.  I knew what was going to happen almost from the beginning.
  8. Spoiler title
    Leo is an undercover student at Harrison.  How the hell did no one out him when he was announced as a judge on the Pretty App Live panel?  Everyone at Harrison High knew him because he was cliche smart and gorgeous, so why did no one mention on social media that they knew who he was?  THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

Things I liked

  1. While Blake was pretty superficial, Sise showed that she had more depth to her than we originally thought.  Being in her head with her insecurities was enlightening and made me sympathize with her a little.
  2. The hot guy was also smart.  That’s always a nice bonus.
  3. She was incredibly vain, and not at all ashamed of that.  You would think that would be a trait I didn’t like, but damn if she wasn’t honest about herself!
  4. The caricature of Justin Bieber in Danny Beaton was in one word….HYSTERICAL.  The personality was everything I beliebe Bieber would be like in person.
  5. It pokes fun at the ridiculousness of social media with the reality show, the PublicParty app, etc.
  6. The story arc with her sister Samantha was very sweet, and I enjoyed seeing the come back together as siblings.
  7. Blake had some snarky inner-dailogue that made me laugh:

“I could’ve listed a lot of things I wanted:  for my dad to love me unconditionally, for Leo to show up at the baggage claim and say he couldn’t live a Blake-free life, for my ass to always stay this high.”

“She was the kind of girl who could make farts sexy.  Or the name Delores.”

“The next afternoon we were all sitting in an upperclassman seminar called College Prep, which was supposedly meant to motivate the juniors and prepare the seniors.  But it was mostly about study habits and not about stuff we really needed to know, like how to date two guys at once without looking like a ho.”

“As much as I loved the cameras, they made certain things really hard, like adjusting your underwear, yawning, getting something out of your teeth, or – God forbid – farting.”

The Pretty App


Overall, The Pretty App is like a tech-crazed Mean Girls, with a reality show spin, while poking fun at some of our sexist traditions.  It wasn’t terrible but I had a hard time really getting into it.  I think younger audiences will like it (but probably miss some of the satire).

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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.


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