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?
©2013 Katie Sise (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
You don’t often get to listen to a teen coming of age novel that has tech in it. I was curious about this title so I listened to it on a lark. I have to admit it was very good, I like the way Sise puts the story together. She did a good job connecting you to the characters and each of the characters have decent depth. Another good story device is making you wait to pick up the backstory of the characters as the story progresses. Delisle narrates the story briskly and her voice is easy to listen to. This is a definite listen, a little sugar sweet, but thumbs up nonetheless.
Nothing I love more than a well-rounded character and intense plot.
This book was fantastically written and has a great plot, but please see below for why it gets a 2 star rating from me. Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.
Arielle DeLisle is a FANTASTIC narrator, and I will be looking for other books read by her.
Audrey McCarthy is your typical teen programmer - shy, introverted, and brilliant. She's also very poor - her dad died three years ago in a terrible work accident, and her mom is a lunch lady. When Public (read: Facebook) announces an app contest with Danny Beaton (read: Justin Bieber) as the spokesperson, she knows its her only chance to go to the college she deserves to go to. So, she programs The Boyfriend App - a sophisticated dating algorithm (read: OkCupid) with GPS capabilities that will alert you when your highest match is within 100 yards. While initially a great craze, the teenagers occasionally end up so mismatched that fights break out everywhere and BFA soon loses steam, knocking it out of the running to win. During an effort to get back in the running, Audrey accidentally discovers nefarious neurotransmitting software within Public's basic applications and OPS, and modifies it to turn BFA 2.0's female-only users into date-rape machines.
That's right, she programs the app to emit a sonic signal that elicits dopamine and oxytocin production in the brain of the user's target. User A likes Target A - she makes eye contact, turns the app on, Phone A sends a signal to Phone B, Phone B begins emitting the sonic signal, and Target A becomes her willing slave - all without knowing and/or understanding what is happening. This is sonic rohypnol.
Well, it's clear to me that you can't have a co-ed user base for this, since we would all automatically assume that boys would use it for sexy purposes and girls just use it for love and affection and makeouts. Good, clean things.
Audrey seems to understand that this is not an okay thing on an individual level, but that does not stop her from justifying its use for her gain. Two wrongs don't make a right, Audrey. This book could have a lot darker.
Of course, there's lots of techno-politics to keep it interesting - dirty corporate secrets, blackmail, all that good stuff.
It's all quite well-written. Slow in the beginning, but it picks up significantly.
I love reading about female engineers, and I love YA. This book was fantastic, but its promotion of using subliminal neurotechnology to remove a person's agency was extremely disturbing. It bothers me that Audrey didn't face any kind of consequence for that - she still gets the guy, in fact, he wasn't even doped when he came to her rescue in the first place, so that makes it all okay.
That and Katie Sise completely lifted the teenage fight/2.0 craze scene from Mean Girls - it was fun, and I understand why she would do it as it had to be a blast to write, but there was no originality there.
I'm a sucker for stories about female programmers (what with being one) so I did like some of the descriptions of the programming process but in general there are massive moral implications to part of the book that nobody in it really seemed to realise (the main character seemed to recognise it on an individual level but didn't seem to realise the absolutely horrific implications for the general population).
I'm trying to keep things vague to avoid spoilers, but one particular plot point in this book was profoundly Not OK and someone as internet aware as the protagonist should have picked up on it straight away.
I don't know..this is usually the type of story I enjoy, but after pre-ordering it and long awaiting the arrival I was extremely disappointed.
It was a little boring. Never really sparked for me, but because I long awaited the arrival I listened to the whole thing.
The narrator was good.
Maybe I put to much excitement into the story and that is why I was let down.
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