Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review: The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: ARC
Pages: 313
Source: Publisher

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?

I completely and absolutely adored The Boyfriend App! It's not what I expected from reading the blurb - it was better. This is so original and captivating. I literally sat in my room and read this from cover to cover, with no breaks. At all. That's how engrossed I was! The Boyfriend App is definitely on my 2013 favourite debuts list.

What I loved most about this book is the programming and tech-y stuff. I took IT in my first two years of high school, so I could somewhat follow the jargon in this book. And even when it got complicated, Katie Sise's way of explaining it was so perfect that I understood all of it. Reading this book has rekindled my interest in computer science and programming, so thank you for that, Katie! I actually felt so jealous of Audrey when reading this, since she knew so much stuff that I'd love to explore. All the hacker stuff, navigating Linux, building video games and apps... I'd love to know more about that! So that's one reason I really loved this book. I really haven't read any other book that goes into this much detail with technology, and you can tell that Katie really knows a lot about it.

Audrey is an incredibly talented girl, courtesy of her father, who taught her everything he knew about computer coding. She spends most of her time with the other computer geeks in the lab, but hangs out with three specific people otherwise. Aidan and Nigit are both computer geeks too, and Mindy is Audrey's only girl friend. She doesn't talk much. Anyway, there's this app-building contest where the winner gets a college scholarship, and that's all Audrey needs to get into MIT or an Ivy League. So she enters by creating the Boyfriend App. But things start to go wrong, and Audrey wonders if it's all worth it. She then discovers a whole new scheme that she'd never imagine, and things start to go her way again... Until she gets caught.

I really enjoyed reading about Audrey. She's so keen and passionate about what she does. And I sympathized with her so much throughout the book, because she gets bullied by her ex-best friend, Blake, and her posse. Quite a few times, and they're pretty nasty people. I felt so angry on behalf of Audrey. But she has Aidan to keep her grounded, and that was awesome. Audrey's liked Aidan ever since she can remember, but she'll never admit it. Why? Because Aidan's one of the only friends she has, and she doesn't want to lose him over anything. I liked their relationship even as friends, especially how protective Aidan is of Audrey, and how he calls her Auds all the time. I thought that was really cute. I of course adored Aidan immediately. He's a computer geek, too, but the popular people cut him slack since he's, well, hot. He's always there for Audrey, and he can calm her down when no one else can. I love how he's always looking out for her even though she doesn't know it. And he's quite different from other YA heros you see nowadays. He's not cocky or arrogant, he's really modest. And he seems to be pretty unaware of his effect on people. That was a nice change.

This book has all these twists and turns, and it's so unpredictable. I would see it going in one direction, and then it would suddenly switch to another, and I would be left shocked. That's another thing I really loved. It's got humour, surprises, romance... and some parts that will make you tear up. This is one of those books that I can re-read over and over again. Katie's writing is amazing, and I'm definitely looking forward to more from her!

*Thank you to Sarah at HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5

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