My enormous thanks to Rebecca Bryant at Harper Collins for sending me a copy of How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch) by Sarah Archer in return for an honest review.
Published by Harper Collins on 19th March 2020, How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch) is available for purchase through the links here.
How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch)
Dating is hard. Being dateless at your perfect sister’s wedding is harder.
Meet Kelly. A brilliant but socially awkward robotics engineer desperately seeking a wedding date…
Meet Ethan. Intelligent, gorgeous, brings out the confidence Kelly didn’t know she had and … not technically human. (But no one needs to know that.)
With her sister’s wedding looming and everyone in the world on her case about being perpetually single, Kelly decides to take her love life into her own hands – and use her genius skills to create Ethan.
But when she can’t resist keeping her new boy toy around even after the ‘I do’s’, Kelly knows she needs to hit the off switch on this romance, fast. Only, when you’ve found (well, made) your perfect man, how do you kiss him goodbye?
My Review of How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch)
If Kelly can’t get a date then she’ll just have to build a boyfriend.
I must confess to being initially flummoxed by How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch) because the style simply didn’t seem to match the blurb and my expectations of a lightweight rom-com read. It took me a while to get in to the book because I was distracted by the world’s Covid 19 events and couldn’t quite grasp the mis-match with my preconceived ideas. I think it says something about the quality of Sarah Archer’s writing that she still managed to engage my attention and made me want to read on.
There’s a really well thought out and engaging plot here, with an interesting and well researched insight into the world of artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as there being several strands of romantic human interest, so that I felt How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch) offered far more than I had anticipated. It comes as no surprise to find the author has worked in film and television as this book has a storyline that would be perfect for either small or large screen.
I thought the characterisation was spot on, especially with regard to Kelly. Her complex relationship with her family held elements that I’m sure so many readers could identify with. Ethan is a triumph because he leads Kelly to a greater understanding of herself and what is truly important in life. And for me, it is this exploration of self and the themes of rivalry in many forms, love, addiction to work, obsession, the need to be accepted and so on, that add the extra dimension I simply hadn’t thought would arise in How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch). I was truly pleasantly surprised at the level of depth. Yes, I laughed at the lighter moments, but equally I felt a level of frustration that made me empathise with Kelly and I shed a tear too.
I must also make mention of the smashing question and answer section at the end of the book because Sarah Archer affords the reader a fascinating insight into how she wrote How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch).
From wondering quite what kind of a book I had in front of me when I began reading, I ended with a clear knowledge. How to Build a Boyfriend (from Scratch) is entertaining, diverting and actually far more thought-provoking than I had thought it would be. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
About Sarah Archer
Sarah Archer wanted to be a writer since she was seven. In her childhood and teenage years, she fell in love with writing poetry, then discovered screenwriting and sketch comedy in college at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Straight out of school, Sarah moved to Los Angeles to work in film and television. Since then, she has moved to full time writing.
Sarah lives in North Carolina, and shares her home with her husband and her pug, Lou.