Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Genre: Young Adult; Romance
Synopsis: 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? (Goodreads)
Note: One paragraph of this review will have a major spoiler, so I will put big red SPOILER ALERT text before and after that. I really have to discuss this part to articulate why I did not really like this book.
Okay, so this book. I remember when it first came out and I really wanted to read it. Techie main character, fun technology hijinks, good laughs, that’s what I expected. I definitely didn’t expect what happened in the latter half of the book. It’s hard to explain, but let’s just go with things got WEIRD. Really weird.
So what did I like about the book? Well, I loved the relationships that the main character, Audrey, forms with her friends and family. I liked the dynamic she had going with Mindy, Nigit, and Aidan. I especially loved her relationship with her cousin, Lindsay. It was just so cute how supportive she was of Audrey, and their bond with Claire. Seriously, warm and fuzzy feelings all over. Audrey’s relationship with her mum was also heart-warming, though I wish we had gotten more time for that family bond to be seen.
So what didn’t I like about it? Well, there’s the always present dramavalanche. Mean girl Blake’s actions and what was being said about her character just didn’t match up. There was how Audrey reacted to certain things, I felt she was being overly dramatic, and the descriptions just got very weird. It feels like everything after a certain point just goes over the top and into the realm of “Seriously? This is really happening?”
Overall: Two out of five stars, and I am very conflicted about it. It was funny and I liked the relationships, but it got too over-the-top and I had a problem with a huge plot point. Spoilers below.
And now, for the spoiler, please do not read beyond this point if you don’t want to be spoiled.
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
So, The Boyfriend App 2.0 essentially forces a boy to fall in love with the user. It makes use of Public’s sound technology and manipulates someone’s mind into wanting physical contact with the user. They wanted to kiss, touch, and I assume whatever else comes after, the person who used the app on them. The fact that the user is FORCING someone into these things doesn’t seem to be a problem for the people in the book. Which… Unsettles me. It unsettles me that no one in the book found it wrong that you can just manipulate someone else like that. “Hey, I like this person and I will have them regardless of what THEY feel or want, and I will use this app to do it!” I just can’t. No. Nope.
END SPOILER ALERT