Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend


About the Book

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 newfound relationship.

About the Author

Kasie West lives with her family in central California, where the heat tries to kill her with its 115-degree stretches. She graduated from Fresno State University with a BA degree that has nothing to do with writing. Visit her online at www.kasiewest.com.

The Review

There are a lot of reasons you could make fun of this book. There are a lot of ways in which you could say the book is riddled with clich├ęs in a Young Adult romantic comedy. The whole ‘please pretend that we’re together’ has been done to death with. I should know because that was the theme of my debut novel, The Secret Proposal. Later on, I couldn’t go back to that story without realizing how very saccharine sweet the whole thing was. But reading The Fill-In Boyfriend I can understand why years later the book is still this popular!
Gia Montgomery is far up in the social ladder and is the student body president, and is constantly under threat by Jules. Jules seems to have issues of her own and takes them out on Gia, her ultimate goal is to split her from her longtime bestie, Claire. Who comes across as a shallow, spineless person and one would wonder what is going on with Gia and her choice of friends!

She doesn’t really have problems. She has a family who like to pretend they’re all so very put together when they are not. Because they believe in being picture perfect. Ugh. Just talk to them Gia, you want to scream at her through the pages of your novel. Or maybe I cannot relate to this because I have always been able to open up to my family about whatever might have been bothering me. And as I grew up, I was lucky enough to find friends who allowed me to feel however I wanted to feel. Maybe it is a little too suffocating to be high up in the social ladder. Therefore it is easy to understand Gia’s discomfort and her way of dealing with problems – pushing them away and hoping they disappear. Not the wisest of choices.

There is her fill-in boyfriend of course, Hayden, who happens to be the brother of a girl she goes to school with called, Bec. He completely changes her world – for the lack of a better phrase. All of a sudden, Gia realizes she doesn’t need to be perfect. She can relax, all eyes are not on her. It is their growing friendship that is the saving grace of this book.
Even though it will be all too easy to list out reasons as to why one should dislike this book, I found myself pretty taken with the story. The language was simple, and it was a nice, easy read. I finished this book in a few hours. And as someone who knows how long it takes to write stories, I can only wish Kasie West good luck with her future novels. I have a few more of her books lined up. I had quite liked On the Fence when I’d read it a few years back. Let’s see what is in store for me. Pick up this book if you really like the pretending to be together and then actually falling in love storyline. You won’t be disappointed!

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