Mini Reviews: The Boyfriend App + The Nightmare Affair

We’re trying out a new format today with mini reviews! It’s a good way for us to share some quick thoughts about our recent reads, and to cover more books on the blog than we’d typically be able to.

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Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Age Group: YA
Source: ARC provided by the publisher

Smart, geeky Audrey McCarthy needs money for college, so she decides to enter a competition to design a phone app that lets users find their perfect romantic match. I loved the idea of a girl who’s a tech nerd, so I was very entertained by the first half of this book. Audrey’s a fun character, and the explanations of technical terms and use of social media is well-integrated into the story; I also enjoyed the breezy writing and quick pace. But halfway through, the plot took a turn that was insanely farfetched to me, and sadly never really regained its footing. I’m a pretty go-with-the-flow kind of reader, but sometimes if you can’t buy into a certain point, it affects the way you feel about the book overall.

While I had more mixed feelings about this one, I liked the author’s fresh and funny narrative voice quite a lot and I’d definitely check out future books by her. If you’re interested in checking out this book, by the way, we’ll be giving away a copy next month!

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Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Age Group: YA
Source: egalley provided by the publisher

Dusty is a girl who is literally a nightmare. Reading the synopsis about this girl who feeds off bad dreams (based on mythical mares in folklore), I didn’t expect to find that this story would have a more lighthearted tone. The overall feel of the book is pretty humorous and the story is fast-paced, and both the writing style and the set-up of a school for magical creatures reminded me quite a bit of Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall series.

I have to admit that while I enjoyed the story while I read it, weeks after finishing it, I don’t recall many specifics about what happened, and the overall feel is humorous without really being that clever or laugh-out-loud funny. But I thought this was pretty cute overall, and the second half of the story made up for the more unevenly paced first half. Recommended if you like your paranormal books on the fluffier side.

Both these reviews also appear on GoodReads. Advance copies were provided by the publishers.

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Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

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