I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Published by Balzer + Bray Genres: Comedy, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
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?
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise is seriously one of the funnest, cutest YA books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long while.
Reminiscent of the light tone in the Bumped/Thumped series, but with infinitely much better writing, The Boyfriend App is witty with a fun main character, it has an interesting concept, and it’s a quick and captivating read. I truly enjoyed myself and was completely immersed the entire time I was reading it. Smart-girl/troglodyte Audrey McCarthy is not necessarily a high school loser, but still a geek with a big target on her back that It Girl, Blake Dawkins loves to throw darts at every chance she gets. They used to be best friends, until tragedy struck in Audrey’s life, making it weird for them. Now Audrey sits with the other trogs, and codes in her spare time for fun. She and her mom live in a small apartment near Notre Dame’s campus, barely eking out a living, and Audrey, even with her good grades, doesn’t hold much hope for getting a college scholarship – not with the competition at Harrison High. Until the day the contest for Most Popular and Most Innovative App is revealed, which could lead her down the path to a scholarship, prize money and fame.
Setting aside the science, because I am not geeky enough to understand if what happens in this book is even possible, it was super fun. It sounds like a fluffy YA, and in some respects it is, but it has some very deep undertones that should not be missed. Yes, Audrey is coding an app to match people together, and even characters inside The Boyfriend App make fun of her for it, but Audrey has gone through some shit, y’all. She wants what everyone else wants, and that’s to be accepted. If coding this ultimate app is the path to that, so be it.
Even though Blake is a totally conniving bitch, I don’t feel like Audrey really blamed her all that much for the way she acted. It was almost as if she blamed herself, or at the very least, expected their friendship to fallout after her father’s death many years before, and Audrey is sort of okay with that, I guess. Blake doesn’t seem to be, and even though this is told in the 1st-person narrative, Katie Sise does a really great job of showing Blake’s insecurities and unhappiness with herself and her own actions.
The Boyfriend App is also hysterical. It’s a tiny bit campy, and reminds me in that way of another Harper Teen series, Bumped by Megan McCafferty, although this is a much better story. It mocks our addiction to technology, what with the buyPhone, buyJams and the idea that we consume consume consume. It basically exploits this consumerism and twists it so neatly into the plot, that adults will enjoy it, too. Never in my life have I laughed as hard in a book as I did in the cafeteria scene with The Boyfriend App 2.0 activate. It was perfect.
Overall, I just had fun reading this book. If you get nothing else out of it, you will get that much, and that’s the best part of it all. It was damn entertaining.