The Boyfriend Bracket
by Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound
The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!
Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.
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?My rating:
I am a super fan of brother’s best friend trope and probably my favorite trope in YA. You know, when the younger sister has a crush on her brother’s best friend but the brother has a number one rule that she is off-limits to his friends so, the hero fights his feelings out of respect for his best friend. The rest is history and the ending has always been the same.
Okay! that sounds like a negative way to start this review but I promise I didn’t mean it to be that way.
I found the relationship between Cam and Stella very usual but sweet. They may not see eye-to-eye most of the time but I felt how much they care for each other. I completely understand why Cam thought that there’s a need for him to protect his sister from every other guy but being the oldest and only remaining man in the family, Cam felt a deeper sense of responsibility to take care not just his sister but also his mother.
Considering that, the familial bond became one of the strong points of the story. Coming from a typical Filipino family who always finds time for special occasions to gather and celebrate, Stella made sure that she visits Will’s Nana every Friday; Sundays are always for her family.
The friendship between both Stella/Franklin and Cam/Will was one of my most favorite highlight in the story. Stella and Franklin have been best friends since grade school. Ever since they met in sewing class and shared the same dreams, they have become inseparable. Their relationship was funny, ideal and like any other friendship, imperfect. They might argue or not talk to each other but at the end of the day, they are always going to be best friends.
And let me just tell how you will going to love to have a Korean best friend like Franklin. He’s vivacious, loyal and the most sensible character you will ever going to read in the story. Because there’s a lot of reference about fashion and Project Runway, I’m sure you’ll all the more love the relationship between him and Stella.
That same goes with Cam and Will. I totally get why Cam thought Will betrayed him. He treated him like his own brother. However, Will broke not only their bro code but also the trust and promise that there’s nothing romantically going to happen between him and Stella. After all, how awkward would it be for Cam to have his best friend and sister together right? But news flash, it’s real and anyone who experienced the same setup could attest to that.
Though I initially felt that the Boyfriend Bracket has something to do for Stella to get Will’s attention, I wish there were more actual scenes and conversations with the guys (yes! I knew the names but only because Stella and Franklin mentioned them) who were in the bracket that could reveal her dating experience or how it turned out, no one from any of them has worked out for her.
Instead, the Boyfriend Bracket became just an ordinary backdrop to the story, which ended up completely forgotten. After all, the title of the book and what went with it—8 boys. 16 dates. 1 perfect boyfriend—was what I expected. There’s also an undercurrent about the issue of bullying done by jealous, annoying mean girls that were merely discussed in the story.
Nonetheless, even how predictable it was, I actually had so much fun and “kilig” reading this besides the romance between Stella and Will or how they support and encourage each other’s dreams—Stella, being a fashion designer and Will being a comic book writer.
The Boyfriend Bracket is a breezy, entertaining read that certainly lives up to the hype of a classic romance trope. It is also a story about family, first love and friendship.
Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group – Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours and Kate Evangelista for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!
About The Author:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back.
Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines.
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