Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Series: No Series
Published: May 5th, 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)The summary of The Fill-In Boyfriend from Goodreads:
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.
There are a few authors that I know will leave me with a happy feeling when I finish reading. That will put a smile on my face that doesn’t leave for a while. The authors that I turn to when I’m having a down day because I know their books will make me feel better. Kasie West is one of those authors. The Fill-In Boyfriend was a sweet book with just the right amount of drama.
What I Liked:
Here’s the thing. The main plot isn’t new. It isn’t different. Yet, West makes it feel refreshing through her characters and her writing. She takes what could have been a book full of clichés and makes it a touching, heartwarming story instead.
Gia easily could have been a character that annoyed me through the entire book. She did at the beginning. But as I continued to read, she began to change. Instead of being the insecure person who wondered if her friends would stick my her side, she starts to understand that she can only control herself, that she only has to make herself happy. She learns that she doesn’t have to prove herself to her friends; if they are really her friends, they already accept her for everything that she is.
I also thought the story itself was really well done. The set-up of the book could have gone wrong at many times. It could have easily been filled with more drama than I’d know how to handle. Some books centered on high school tend to go in the direction. The Fill-In Boyfriend didn’t do that. I wouldn’t even call it drama; that makes it seem insignificant.
It deals with a lot of issues teens face, and it handles them with a certain grace that illustrates that the characters are teens, but they are open and willing to learn and grow as a person. By the end of the novel, I understood Gia and I appreciated the development her character went through.
It didn’t hurt that the romance was so sweet. From the first moment we are introduced to the fill-in boyfriend (his name is part of the story and I don’t want to take away anyone’s enjoyment of discovering it…), I knew he’d be one of those love interests that I’d just adore. He was sweet and funny, and just a good person overall.
What I Didn’t Like:
West couldn’t escape all the clichés: Gia’s friends feel a little flat and unoriginal when compared to the rest of the novel. I didn’t expect that to be completely fleshed out, but at times they felt a little too overdone in their characteristics. I would have liked a little more depth to them.
I’d Recommend To:
If you like contemporary romance, you’d probably enjoy this book. Gia starts off a little annoying, but she quickly grows on you. The fill-in boyfriend is sweet and wonderful. The Fill-In Boyfriend will leave you smiling and your heart fluttering.
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