The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Pages: 344 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen, May 2015
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been on a contemporary kick lately so I asked my friends for some cute contemporaries recommendations. Quite a few of my friends said FILL IN BOYFRIEND and gushed about how cute it was. I already did own the book, but have been wary about starting it because I didn’t enjoy The Distance Between Us by Kasie West so I was worried I wouldn’t like her other works as much as others did. However, I am very pleasantly surprised because I thoroughly liked Fill In Boyfriend.
The premise of Fill-In Boyfriend is quite typical. It’s one of those senior high school-er with some kind of crisis and coming-of-agetype of trope. Setting that aside, I am a lover of contemporary YA so I really don’t have problems with using typical premises such as this one. Despite how common it may be, there are many other elements that make a book more than just its premise — that’s what I look for.
Our main character, Gia, has a boyfriend whom she brings to prom. However, he dumps her in the parking lot right before prom. She can’t tell her friends this and needs a date fast, hence, a “fill-in” boyfriend.
I found (and was warned by my friends who have read this book) that Gia’s character was very immature and shallow at the beginning of the book. However, I did find that she showed a lot of character development throughout the novel, which is an element I really did appreciate. I really dislike it when characters (especially the main ones) remain static throughout the plot.
I enjoyed the writing style as well, it was light and easy to read.
The relationships and interactions between the characters were very delightful as well. West plays in friendship, family, and romantic relationships very well. This is something I really like — when YA novels go beyond just the romance level.
This book did bring me some tears at one point — although I might have just been overly emotional when I was reading this book. It was also a one day read for me, so that might be why I was so invested into the plot.
You know what they say, of course, no book can satisfy all readers. However, as a reader myself, I love love love finding a book that I can click with and this was definitely one of them.
If you are in the mood for something cute and contemporary, light and quick, this is definitely a great choice! I am very much excited to read more of Kasie West’s books soon.