Monday, April 22, 2013

ARC Review: The Boyfriend App


The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
3/5 stars
Balzer + Bray, 2013
320 pages
YA Contemporary
Scheduled to release April 30

Source: Received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The premise for this book sounded absolutely adorable and right up my alley! I was especially pleased to see a female techie. There is always a gamble to talk in-depth about technology in this age of ever evolving gadgets and gizmos but it's weird to read a contemporary YA book where teenagers aren't practically attached to their phones. I don't know much about the apps on my smart phone but I hoped this book could enlighten me some.

In that regard I was very happy. Audrey is very into computers, coding, hacking, etc. having inherited the passion and skill from her now deceased father. Unfortunately his death led to a decrease in the family's finances, meaning she jumps at the chance to win a scholarship by creating an awesome app. This and a lot of other information was packed into the beginning chapters in an incredibly overwhelming fashion. I'm usually pretty nonplussed by info-dumps but this one was very hard for me.


As the book progressed, Audrey becomes more and more obsessed with her app, the second version of which stems from an odd fantastical twist. I don't want to spoil anything but I found it very implausible and only kept reading to the end because I did mostly enjoy the style. The characters certainly weren't doing anything for me.

While I liked Audrey adequately, it was her cousin/friend Lindsay who really spoke to me. Lindsay is a fashion-obsessed girl who turned her passion into a blog (that sounds familiar, huh?) and has amassed legions of followers and supporters. She easily slips among the social groups at school and totally has Audrey's back through various missteps. Of course, there is a bit of romance and the guy Audrey likes is a nice enough guy but he didn't have much there to make me root for him.

Overall: Neat premise that goes off the rails near the end-writing style is cool but characters don't have much depth. Definitely a library read if you want to check this out.

Other Opinions:
Amaterasu Reads
Anna Reads
Blkosiner's Book Blog
The Midnight Garden

24 comments:

  1. The think about novels like this is that they will seem dated in a few years. I think teens of today might be interested in the story because they are so into tech and it is nice to see a girl techie character. It is too bad that the story didn't work in the end. Thanks for your review!

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    1. I am so curious to find out what will seem the most dated in a few years! I know that there is stuff nowadays that I never imagined could be possible when I was a child.

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  2. I hate it when books turn implausible--that's one of the things that's sure to turn me off a book. It really does sound like a cute idea, but like your previous commenter said, it seems like it would be too quickly dated.

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    1. It was just ridiculous-if I had been more engaged, I probably could have gone with it but it hadn't hooked me enough to sell me on that twist.

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  3. I have this one in my pile. Based on your overall, I need to go into it with low expectations for a fluff read. *preps brain*

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    1. Definitely a fluff read-nothing too serious here!

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  4. I am right there with you, good but not great and info dumpy at times and over the top with some of the plot lines.

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    1. Love when we share an opinion-it makes me feel so validated!

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  5. Huh. I'm sorry that the characters weren't doing it for you. That's kind of a let down, considering how cute this looked. Fabulous review, girly! Maybe your next read will be better. (:

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    1. It is just so important for a contemporary to hook me with the characters and I wish this one had done that.

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  6. Too bad there were some info dump sections that didn't work well. Lindsay sounds like an awesome side character, though!

    Nice honest review! :)

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    1. Lindsay was so neat! I really try to call out great female friendships in books and this is a good example of one.

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  7. This one was on okay book for book, my review is scheduled for next week. :D Glad you did enjoy this some. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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    1. Looking forward to seeing your detailed thoughts!

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  8. Sounds cute enough but probably not something I'll be in a hurry to read.

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    1. Yeah, when if it comes up, page through it but no big if you miss it.

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  9. I expect this to be a fluff read. I'll reserve it when I'm dystopian-ed out. Thanks for the honest review!

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    1. I could see it being good to read between more serious non-realistic books but definitely not a priority.

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  10. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one too much. It didn't really stick out to me anyway, so no loss there. I'm not really not that techie despite being a blogger. I've only ever had one phone, for instance, which my friends all make fun of me for, but I love it. hah

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    1. I feel like I should be more into tech as a blogger but since my main love is books, that's where my focus remains.

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  11. I agree with you that I love the idea of a girl tech genius. After reading some reviews of this, I decided it probably fell into the "young YA" category -- those books that are more geared to tweens or actual teens than an adult reader. I'm glad those books exist, but they're usually not for me.

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    1. Yes, more young YA. I think it was fairly clean too or at least a lot less cursing than Crash and Burn!

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  12. AH. You make a great point that I forgot about in my review. The end part sort of reminded me of Audrey Wait! and Awkard, two books that did sort of go a step too far in the realism dept.

    I'm interested in comment one... that this book will seem dated in a few years? I'm not sure if I agree with that. I'm still not sure what ratio I like in books when it comes to tech and real life. I feel like for kids today tech is even more of a part of it then when I was a kid... maybe there isn't enough. Is the tech distracting? I have no idea. I only think it's going to become MORE prominent in our lives and it's not a time issue in books.

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    1. I do feel like the tech will continue to evolve probably some step beyond apps but I have no idea how.

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