The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication: June 19th 2018 from Swoon Reads
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 240 pages
Format: ARC from the author
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?
Huge thanks to my friend, Ms. Kate Evangelista, for gifting me with a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
I’ve been a fan of Kate Evangelista ever since I came across her Dodge Cove Trilogy. I love how light, and warm-hearted those books were, and I adored the characters that Kate introduced to her readers through those books. She also impressed me by being able to tackle topics such as mental illness, sexuality, diversity, and accurate representation in her books. And to say that I’ve been highly anticipating her latest book, The Boyfriend Bracket, would probably be a huge understatement. With a Filipina-American main character, lots of diversity advocates would for sure love this one too. Read on for a detailed review of Kate’s newest book.
I adored Stella (MC), and William (LI) so, so much, and I can’t help but root for them since the very first chapter. Personally, though, I’m also a huge fan of the ‘main character falls in love with brother’s friend’ trope, and so this hits right the spot for me. I had a very enjoyable time getting to know these characters, together with their friends, and other family members, and I savored all of their sweet and sometimes sassy dialogue. I love how Stella, albeit having a very American name, were very much in touch with her roots, and I appreciated the subtle references about Filipino culture that Kate wrote. As for Will, I find that there’s little to not love about him, even though there were times that I felt like the idea of him being this perfect, macho love interest was too far-fetched, especially for a hopeless romantic like me.
I was also elated to read about the heartwarming family dynamics found within this book, and it solely reminded me of how well-bonded Filipinos are with their families. Stella, as I’ve previously mentioned, has Filipino blood flowing inside her and her family, and to see just how close they all were made me feel proud to be a Filipino myself. Typical Filipino families observe close family ties and are usually hospitable, polite, and respectful, towards elders, and other family members. (Not that I am boasting, or anything. This is on Google, believe me. *laughs*) And so to see how generally protective Cam was of his mother and sister made me all the more glad. And the same goes for Will, as he’s very caring and thoughtful towards her Nana. I was very impressed by this aspect of the story and it made me enjoy this even more.
And last but certainly not the least, I want to talk about the relationship Stella had between her brother, Camron, and her best friend, Franklin. Both characters got me so incredibly intrigued from the moment I met them and albeit their presence in the book certainly helped tell Stella’s story, I am literally craving for more, especially after I turned the last page. They kept loitering in my brain, asking for more time with me, and so I really need more details about these characters. Even though I feel like they didn’t get the attention they deserved, I’ll for sure be waiting for the day that I get to read about them once again. (No worries, by the way. I already made known to Kate my interest about these characters and I’m hoping for a positive feedback. No pressure though, Kate!)
“Incredibly sweet, cute, fast-paced, and filled with characters that remind me so much of Filipino culture and traditions, Kate Evangelista’s The Boyfriend Bracket is a young adult contemporary that I would no doubt recommend to my friends, especially for those who are on the lookout for short, light-hearted, but impactful reads. Kate undoubtedly took my breath away by telling a story that might seem a little too common to others, but was absolutely perfect to me. In less than a couple of pages, I’m sure it’ll grip your heart the same way it gripped mine.”
Have YOU read The Boyfriend Bracket yet? If not, be sure to check out once it’s out on June 19th! And once you do, let me know what you think of it down below in the comments section!
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 and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a 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.
Until the next one!
Follow me around the internet!