REVIEW #127: The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Pages: Hardcover, 320 pages
Format: Audiobook  7.5 Hours

Summary from Goodreads:
From stunning new talent Katie Sise comes an irresistible Cinderella story with a tech twist.

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 into 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 at 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?

***********CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS*********
The Boyfriend App tells the story of Audrey, a technologically-gifted high school senior, who chooses to write an app for her phone in order to win a contest and get some scholarship money. The idea that she settles on is to create a matching making app.

In the beginning of the book, I was ok with the basic premise. In fact, I was excited to see a techie girl who was talented at coding. There are not enough of these girls (like me!) in real life so I was happy to see us represented in the book. But then very quickly, issues began to emerge.

First off, the romance in the book seemed forced and simply dumb. The decisions that the characters made baffled me. For instance, the main love interest is mis-matched by the app as being a perfect match for the most popular girl in the school, and he goes along with it even though it is clear he likes with Audrey. He does this to try and bolster Audrey’s confidence in the app… but in real life, who would really do that? I was frustrated by that entire aspect of the story.

Then comes the exciting part: the technology. The twist of the story occurs when Audrey begins to notice special, undocumented functionality built into her phone. The phone, it seems, is capable of emitting sound waves that can alter the behavior of teenagers through mind control. Kind of like subliminal messages What?? You read that correctly… the makers of the phone have been using their devices to control teenagers. Puh-lease. As if that weren’t dumb enough, Audrey uses her awesome high-school senior “hacking” skills to infiltrate the servers of the multi-million-dollar phone manufacturer company, install a back door, and listen in on all of the company’s plans and secrets. Again I ask, What?? Some high school script kiddie was able to get through tons of levels of firewalls and security preventative measures protecting billions of dollars’ worth of information in no time at all, and with no help, financial resources, or training? Impossible and ridiculous.

With Audrey’s newfound knowledge of the secret teen-controlling tones, she refines her app into Version 2, which actually provides the ability to make people “fall in love”. It does this by raising their “hormone levels” to an obscene degree and basically making them want to make out with the person with the app so much that they eat their entire face off. I have always had a problem with implausible, instant love in books, and this just takes that to the next level.

Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone who has any semblance of technical knowledge. Perhaps PERHAPS if a reader is completely clueless about phone or security technology, or can somehow overlook all the blatant impossibilities related to those, then they might enjoy it. But basically, if you’re anything like me, you’ll simply laugh and shake your head the entire read long. 2 stars.



  1. I'm not really a tech person, but I know a lot of people who are! I loved this review, because you came at from a totally different place than any of the reviews I've read so far. It was really cool to read what parts you thought were weird. I think I still wanna read this one. Going into it I won't be thinking that it's something that it's not, so thanks for that! Once again loved this review!

  2. Ay, this book didn't interest me to begin with but I had no idea how weird the plot got. Mind control? What the? Yeah, I wont' be picking this up but I loved your review. Keepin it real.

  3. Good to know! I'll skip it!

  4. That's a shame. I really really enjoyed this one. I think Sise did a pretty good job even if the twist was a little unexpected for me. I'm looking forward to more of her work.

  5. Haha, I love the gif. Robert is a genius. I already hate the sound from the romance, so I don't think this book would work for me either.

  6. Say what? I don't think I got any of that, aside from the match-making part, in the synopsis. Hang on, going back to read it one more time.... Yeah, didn't see anything that would make me think I would have to suspend my disbelief in that large of a way. And it just makes what sounds like a fun, cute contemporary into a laugh out loud in the wrong kind of way semi-dystopian story. I think I'm out!


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