Review + Giveaway: The Boyfriend App

I received this book for free from YA Books Central in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Giveaway: The Boyfriend AppThe Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Series: App #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Pages: 312
Format: ARC
Source: YA Books Central

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?

First Sentence: “It was lunchtime in the social battleground better known as Harrison’s upperclassmen cafeteria, and I was staring at Aidan Bailey.”

Guys, I am writing this as a zombie blogger, because I died of cute. Seriously, this book is so fun and sweet and humorous and delightful. I picked The Boyfriend App at just the right time, when I was in the mood for a lighter read, for a contemporary novel, and this hit the spot so perfectly. To me, the best books are the ones that can make me feel, and The Boyfriend App delivered, making me actually laugh aloud and grin like an idiot pretty much the whole way through. As I sit here writing this, I still have the foolish grin on my face, because this book is that adorable.

For those who don’t know, my day job involves working at a software company, so I hear a lot of talk about programming and apps and all of this stuff. I feel so brilliant when I understand those conversations, and that was a fun aspect of The Boyfriend App. It doesn’t get super technical, but one of my best friends is super into app design and hearing all of the ideas and seeing the passion these kids have is so uplifting. Also, it’s awesome that there’s such a focus on technology in The Boyfriend App, because fiction tends to lag behind on the technological curve, but everything in here is very timely.

Audrey McCarthy loves hacking and programming, taught by her father, who perished in a mysterious accident, for which he was, likely, wrongfully blamed. Audrey and her mother, who is a lunch lady at her school, struggle to make ends meet. Unable to keep herself in the latest fashions, Audrey’s not popular at school, but she’s totally okay with that, because she has some of the best friends ever, insultingly referred to as “trogs” by her ex-best friend Blake and her cronies.

The characters in The Boyfriend App really shine. Of course, I’ve got a weak spot for geeky bands of misfits. I love how diverse the kids in this group and in the school as a whole are; this felt a lot more like my high school than most of the ones depicted in YA fiction. Going off on a slight tangent, Sise not only includes characters of various diversities, but she’s also not hetero-normative, referencing both lesbian and gay couples.

Anyway, back to Audrey’s little group. Nigit and Aidan are programmers like Audrey, and she’s crushing on Aidan hard secretly. Mindy, though lovely, is teased mercilessly for her speech impediment. Lindsay, Audrey’s cousin, is a fashionista who runs an enormously popular fashion blog. The dialog between all of them is so realistic and engaging. They all feel so real to me. Plus, they’re so supportive of one another, and I love seeing a young adult novel with such a strong depiction of friendship, and one where it’s a group and not a singular best friend is even rarer.

Okay, so the plot of The Boyfriend App is that Public, a technology company that’s totally a parody of Apple runs a contest for high school students to design an app. The two winners will receive $200,000, and Audrey wants to win badly, because this is her only chance to go to a good school and not leave seriously in debt, since she and her mother have a total of $2000 dollars saved. Audrey designs this app intended to help girls find boyfriends, and hijinks totally ensue. There’s this one scene in the cafeteria that just killed me, thus why I’m now a zombie. It’s over the top in just the right way. Just don’t take this book too seriously, because this is comedy and it is good.

At the very end, the book does go in a slightly weird direction. Yes, Sise makes it work, but the plot felt a bit more meandering once the app contest ended. Though a bit more trite of an ending, closing shortly after the announcement might have been more effective, since things got a trifle too serious for the tone thereafter. I also have a few questions about how the Boyfriend App gets information on boys, and a few other niggling questions like that about the app, but that’s totally not the point, so I’m going to try to tell my nit-picky self to shut the hell up.

With a sweet romance, laugh out loud humor, and lots and lots of kissing, Katie Sise’s The Boyfriend App is a must read for fans of light contemporary fiction. With such a strong debut, you can bet I’ll be reading whatever Sise writes next!

Favorite Quote:

“I wished I could be meaner. Because there were so many options.”

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter. Prize will be shipped from Amazon or TBD, depending on where the winner lives. 

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55 responses to “Review + Giveaway: The Boyfriend App”

  1. GABY says:

    It must be so cool to know how to create an app! Katie sounds like a cool geek 😛

  2. I’ve been dying to read this one, I totally need something cute right now so I’m glad you enjoyed it and are hosting a giveaway! Thank you for that! 🙂

    The Novlist

  3. Tara says:

    I want to read this book so badly now!
    Programming geekiness + real-life-things-parodying = NERDTASTIC! 😀
    As a CS student, I lurve books with code-y things, but there’s so few of them :/

  4. Ok. I had written this one off and trimmed down my TBR a touch in the process but now I must put it back! Seriously, I love that you had a grin on your face even while you were writing the review, that’s saying something. I keep hearing about the latter half of the novel being completely out there and ruining everything so I am happy to see that you mention that the author makes it work. That’s the part that scared me most. I will definitely be giving this one a go at some point because well, you liked it!

    • Christina says:

      Woo! You might read it and be like what the eff were you thinking, Christina, but I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was just so funny. The book definitely does take a turn from a standard to contemp to something crazy, but I loved most of the craziness, so it just depends.

  5. Jessica R says:

    I am now so excited to read this one! I wasn’t sure, but hearing how much of a fun book this is, I must do it! I often find myself in need of something that will just put a big grin on my face and has some truly likeable characters, so thank you for pointing that stuff out because I’m sold!

    • Christina says:

      Yeah, just don’t go into it expecting it to be something serious or to be completely grounded in real life. I think it’s ultimate goal is to be funny. I can definitely see people being creeped out by the turn it takes, but I was dying of laughter.

  6. Heather says:

    D’aww, this sounds cute! I really like that there’s a technology component to this, too. How cool!

  7. So glad you liked this too! I loved the diversity in the book, such a myriad of characters and yes, it was so cute and fun! The programming aspects were one of my favourite parts, it just added so much authenticity to the plot and usually at this point, authors take the shortcut and just simply mention the coding but don’t go in-depth and explain what is actually going on. Fantastic review Christina and thank you very much for the giveaway! 🙂

    • Christina says:

      The diversity was great, and it wasn’t cookie cutter, like culture was important, but just because something wasn’t your culture didn’t mean you couldn’t be into it, and they weren’t just their race. I thought the programming was clear and well-handled too.

  8. Stormy Dawn says:

    This one’s been on my radar for awhile, because it sounds so light and fun–perfect for a summer read! Most of the reviews I’ve read have been pretty positive too, which is always a plus.

  9. This sounds like my kind of book! I love cute and geeky books 🙂 I’m really glad to hear that the programming stuff isn’t too in depth because I am not a fan of technical things being explained in all it’s detail cause I just get lost.

    • Christina says:

      It’s super cute and geeky. Yeah, I think it’s a manageable level, but I’m in a tech environment everyday. I don’t think I saw any reviews saying that was confusing though, so I think you’re good.

  10. Ellis says:

    This sounds adorable! The title is super cute and I’m so glad about the diversity factor, especially since it includes lesbian couples. I feel they are even less represented than gay couples in YA, so The Boyfriend App going beyond the hetero-normative default is definitely something to be excited about. And yes, dying of cute is a goal I hope to reach one day.

  11. You’ve totally sold me on this one! I wasn’t really all that interested because I thought the title sounded ridiculous, but this sounds like a great contemporary for summer. And I’m so glad that the characters are diverse! Eep, definitely going to have to check it out. And possibly die of cute along with you.

  12. Ohhh, this sounds super cute! I must read this soon since I do still have the ARC on my Kindle. I’m in the mood for a light contemp read.

  13. Amy says:

    This book sounds so fun and cute!! I love it when you pick up a book at the perfect time too! I just recently had that with The School for Good and Evil. I was in the mood for a fantasy world to get lost in.

    I almost got this one from Edelweiss, but passed on it since I didn’t have time to get to it. It is definitely a book I want to read though. The characters sound really great. Fab review!

    • Christina says:

      I did. My previous reads had been so meh, and I wanted something fun and this came to me and it was like a present from the universe. Oooh, I’ll be starting that one tonight!

      Hope you get a chance to try it at some point!

  14. Ok so your review definitely made me want to read the book. I am keeping my fingers crossed I win the giveaway so I can save some money (who I am then going to spend on some other book lol) but I am definitely reading this soon. Contemporary novels are my latest addiction and promise of humor and sweetness won me over.
    You still rock even as a zombie blogger. 😉

    • Christina says:

      Contemporaries are mine too. I hope you love it if you get to read it soon. I just thought it was a breath of fresh air. I love books that can really make me laugh out loud like a crazy person.

  15. You liked it so I have to read it now. Thanks, Christina.

  16. erin says:

    Sounds fun! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. GillyB says:

    This one sounds SO adorable. When I’m totally in the mood for funny and light, I will definitely go for this. It sounds right up my alley.

  18. Kat Balcombe says:

    YAY for geeks! I work in a software company too and I love the geeks – some of them are so sweet!

    I wasn’t really interested in this one, but it sounds fun so I might have to reconsider 😉

    • Christina says:

      Hahaha, awww. I can’t say if others will like it, since I think I’m the only one in my little corner who’s LOVED it, and I don’t know why. Oh well. To each her own, no? Though I think everyone enjoyed it. Thus I say, worth a try!

  19. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    Really AWESOME book!! LOVE how it’s a girl who designs an app that’s so helpful for other girls too. It’s unique in that it turns into a thriller type thing:))

    Lovely review:)

    Thank you:)

  20. Bonnie R says:

    This totally wasn’t on my radar at all. I like cute books.. light and fluffy books… but not normally. This one does sound super cute though and you’ve totally convinced me. Fantastic review! 🙂

    Bonnie @ Sweet Tidbits

  21. Hollie says:

    It seems like so many people have loved this book! I’m super excited to read it as it does sound like a super-cute contemporary, which I love reading. Great review!

  22. Dana says:

    I’ve had this one on my TBR for a while now. Sounded like such a fluffy, fun read. I’ll for sure give it a chance now, after reading your review. I love funny books!

  23. KM says:

    I’m so excited to see Katie Sise at Little Shop in two weeks! Eeeppp! I added this one to my TBR pile because it’s a Balzer + Bray book, and they tend to be some of my favorites. So I’m glad you liked this one! Let’s hope our contemporary taste is still the same with this one. 🙂

  24. I AM SHOCKED. Not going to lie, I was totally ready for you to rip this one apart. I haven’t read it yet, but most of the reviews I’ve read haven’t been amazingly positive. I’m really glad this one got your seal of approval, though, because that definitely makes it that much more likely that I’ll like this one.

  25. Tricia C. says:

    Sounds like a perfect summer read for an exhausted teacher! I’ll be meeting with students over the summer at the public library, so this’ll be a great recommendation if our library has it. If not, I’ll have to bug them so they’ll order it.

  26. my sister read it and enjoyed it but i think she had the same problem about the ending getting too serious or going in a weird direction. I love the sound of the boyfriend app but i would also be thinking on how she would gather info on the guys and all the other technicalities that weren’t mentioned in the novel.. however I DO want to die of cuteness so i must give this book a try!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  27. Cohlina says:

    I really really want to read this one but I still don’t have a copy. So, thanks for the chance! 😀

  28. Princess Ash says:

    “Plus, they’re so supportive of one another, and I love seeing a young adult novel with such a strong depiction of friendship, and one where it’s a group and not a singular best friend is even rarer.”

    That to me sounds suspiciously similar to bromance and that is my buzz word. So to this I say: GIMME.

  29. Bookworm1858 says:

    Love that you could comment a little bit on the technical side of this book-I was a little overwhelmed but also incredibly fascinated.

  30. I love this idea, and love that it seems that it was actually well done. For some reason it reminds me of Kate Brian’s books (not the Private series, of course).

  31. I’m usually not a fan of realistic fiction, but I’ve been waiting for this book for a while. I love technology and hope to create a few apps in the future!

  32. Nikki H says:

    This book sounds so cute! I really wish we had that type of technology! Great review! Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. Kristi says:

    Now I really want to read this! Summertime is the perfect time for these lighter reads and I’ve totally been meaning to put this on my list of books to purchase. I think you now have me convinced! Anyway, thanks so much for the giveaway! It’s very generous! (:

  34. neednewspace says:

    Quick to the TBR List, Batman!

  35. Ellis says:

    Ellis recently posted…Review – Things I Can’t ForgetMy Profile

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