The Boyfriend App My Rating:
I recommend it!
Published by: Balzer & Bray on April 30th, 2013
Genres: Cliffhanger Free, Coming of Age, Contemporary, HEA, Light Romance, Young Adult
Series: App #1
Get the app. Get the guy.
Computer-whiz Audrey McCarthy feels most at home in a tech lab, surrounded by her fellow geeks. Once popular and fearless, she hasn't been the same since her dad died. And her ex-best friend, gorgeous queen bee Blake Dawkins, has turned into her worst nightmare. Audrey is counting the minutes until high school is over and she can get the hell out of Dodge and go to college-that is, if she can find a scholarship.
So when Public Corporation, a giant tech company, announces a contest for the best app developed by a high schooler-with $200,000 in prize money-Audrey is spurred to action. She comes up with an idea so simple, yet so brilliant, she can't believe it hasn't been done: the Boyfriend App. With a simple touch of the screen, romance blooms among the unlikeliest couples in high school, and people start to take notice. But it's not quite enough.
To beat out the competition, Audrey will have to dig deeper. And she does-right into a scandal that would rock Public to its core. Suddenly the
Boyfriend App lands Audrey where she never expected to be: in the middle of the limelight, passionately kissed by the hottest guys in school, causing complete and utter mayhem. But can it bring her true love?
I picked up The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise on a whim. I was browsing my local library’s Overdrive account, looking for another book, and it popped up in the “suggested for you” area. It sounded fun and different so I decided to give it a try. It’s the first book of Ms. Sise’s that I’ve read.
I was expecting a cutesy, swoony romance. I was pleasantly surprised when the story turned out to be about a high school girl who was somewhat of a hacking genius. Awesome. Yes, there was a romance, but it was surprisingly light. The majority of the story was about Audrey and her quest to build the best mobile app for a contest worth a college scholarship of a whopping $200,000. That’s a lot of Ramen, folks.
In the process of building her app—The Boyfriend App—Audrey stumbles across something big. Like, illegal big. Big corporation conspiracy big. And, no. I’m not telling you anymore about it. Read the book. But, I will say this, it’s a cool storyline and I was completely hooked.
I liked Audrey. She was flawed. She’d suffered a personal loss (not telling… read the book) that was compounded by another… and another… and another until she felt as though she’d lost her entire life. And I guess, in a way, she had. But she had spunk and she fought her way back. It wasn’t easy. It was messy and she made mistakes along the way, but that made her even more relatable. Overall, Sise did an awesome job of creating a well-developed, nuanced character in Audrey. One that everyone one can relate to on some level. And if not relate to, root for.
Secondary characters were on point, too. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again it now (come on; say it with me): I love secondary characters. They give the story life just as much as the main characters. It’s a rare story that can survive on one character alone. Even Tom Hanks had Wilson in Castaway. And The Boyfriend App had a full cast of secondary characters that each added to the story. Some more than others, but all in their own way.
As I’ve already hinted, the plot was original and surprisingly deep and meaningful on different levels. Audrey had a lot of drama to wade through. But Sise didn’t bog the story down with drama for the sake of drama. It all had purpose.
I really liked that Audrey was a tech genius. I liked that she could code and create apps from nothing. She was a hacker, but abided by a strict code of ethics. It was awesome to see a girl who had such badassery skills and I think the author did a great job of explaining the art of coding just enough that the reader stayed interested without stalling the story’s pace with paragraph after paragraph of mind-numbing textbook information.
Bottom line: The Boyfriend App is a short read. I read it in a day. But it isn’t a fluffy, cotton candy teen romance. It’s a story with substance and emotion and relatable, flawed characters. That’s not to say it isn’t fun and entertaining. It definitely is! I had more than one giggle while reading it. And the romance, while not necessarily the main plot line, is sweet and tender and in the end, tied up nicely in a neat HEA bow.
I recommend it!
Other books in the series: