The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise (App #1)
Published Balzer and Bray 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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 am extremely conflicted about my reactions to this book. On the one hand, it was a fun, quick read with some memorable moments. On the other, it was kind of disturbing and I definetely did not enjoy parts of it.
My main problem with this book was that it made all the guys seem to be some sort of sex object. Obviously, the idea of the Boyfriend App is to get boyfriends…but only girls can ask the guys, guys can’t see any of their matches from the website. Also, there are lots of scenes where the girls just start making out with everyone in the book, all the time. There is no consent…it’s just kissing EVERYWHERE. And it’s really creepy and strange. I felt really uncomfortable reading these types of scenes, which was pretty much the entire second half of the book.
Also, Audrey was a total Mary Sue character. While she was a nerd, she was a perfect nerd. Not only did her crush like her, but so did the most popular boy in school. Everyone who didn’t like her, hated her and was totally against her doing anything. She did have a few problems, like how her father had recently passed away (which was one of the best/emotional parts of the book). However, most of the other problems in this book are solved extremely quickly. Audrey comes off as a super genius with absolutely no problem she cannot solve. There’s nothing to hate about her.
I did like some parts of this book. It was really fast paced and captured my attention. I read the entire thing in around a day, so that was good. It’s a fun book with an interesting concept. I would even say that Sise’s writing was also very good! There were a couple of awkward moments, but it was pretty great for a debut novel.
Overall, I was not a huge fan of this book. There were some weird scenes and I didn’t like Audrey very much, or the romance that was developed. The writing and concept were okay, but it failed to execute.