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?
This is a cute contemporary about a girl who just wanted to have a boyfriend but her overprotective big brother made it difficult for her to do so. When her brother finally graduated from high school, the main character, Stella finally felt free. Stella along with her best friend used the boyfriend bracket as a method to find Stella the perfect boyfriend. While the premise of the story sounded interesting, I’m afraid the story sets up a relationship between Stella with her long-time crush and it wasn’t subtle. The interesting part about this book was the change of perspective between Stella and Will. I didn’t have to think to know that Will plays an important role in this book and what his role meant for the boyfriend bracket system. I just wished the development of their relationship had not been rushed. I wanted a slow burning romance but it didn’t feel that way for me. Then again, it depends on the reader’s interpretation.
I’d give an extra star for the description of the overprotective brother because it tends to be a common trope I rarely see in YA novels nowadays. However, I noticed this trope many times in multiple Filipino tv shows while growing up. Reading about a character that embodies the characteristics of a long-forgotten (in my opinion) trope was an interesting experience. I didn’t think the ‘overprotective brother’ trope was overly done and I thought it was the only trope I can stand in this novel besides the “brother’s best friend trope.” And like other YA novels, this book had many clichés like the mean girls trope. Needless to say, this was a cute light-hearted contemporary read meant for entertainment. I’d recommend this book to teens who enjoy reading cute and fluffy contemporary reads.
**Huge thanks to the publisher for approving my request to read this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own!