by Kate Evangelista
Published on June 19, 2018 by Swoon Reads
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother's best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she's always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.
Or it seems like the perfect plan...right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?
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There’s the good kind of rom-com fluff. . . and then there’s The Boyfriend Bracket.
I love a good, light read, featuring a happily ever after and a sweet story that you want to gush over. But not at the cost of the actual story like in the case of this YA contemporary.
I found this book SUPER super sweet. Protagonist has a crush on her brother’s best friend but it seems like it’s never meant to be. She creates a bracket to find a guy by the end of senior year. Then said bracket suddenly gets thrown out the window not even like halfway through the book because suddenly she gets the guy she wants but has to handle it with her friends and family. Which made me question what the point of this whole book was (and it’s not even that long, so not a good sign).
My major issue with The Boyfriend Bracket comes down to the fact that there’s absolutely no substance to it. Considering the bracket of potential boyfriends is quite literally the entire title, I wanted Stella (the main character) to work her way through the bracket THEN get the bro’s best friend. That’s what I thought the story was going to be and then she achieves her goal SO SOON so I had to wonder. . . what was the story here? There’s no reason for me to read further and that’s never a good sign.
And in fact, I totally skimmed chunks after about the 25% mark.
I’m all for fun, easy reads, but this one was so predicable and cliché, especially with the overprotective brother causing extra drama and the secret relationship. Tropes are great but not when the entire book feels like one big “I’ve read this way too many times before.”
That said, I enjoyed the characters on their own. Stella is ambitious and truly passionate about what she loves. Does she make mistakes? Of course! Does she grow from them? Definitely. And her best friend, Franklin, was hilarious! Their scenes together were some of my faves. Don’t get me wrong, Will’s a charmer and I saw the potential with him and Stella (not to mention him and his grandmother were fun to read about, especially from Will’s point of view). But he wasn’t a standout love interest or PoV character. None of the characters were really memorable.
None of this means I wouldn’t not recommend this book. The Boyfriend Bracket is a light, quick read perfect if you’re looking for a cute read borderline sickeningly sweet. I wouldn’t go in expecting a “boyfriend bracket” as the title suggests, but if you’re in the mood for a romance involving a brother’s best friend then this is the book for you.