Publication: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Purchased Paperback
Pages: 343 pages
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.
“I don’t like the words ‘I’m fine’. My mom tells me those two words are the most-frequently-told lie in the English language.”
The Fill-In Boyfriend was not great. The more I think about it, the less that I like it. I feel like maybe I’ve outgrown these more shallow type young adult contemporary stories. The Fill-In Boyfriend follows a high school senior who is pretty and popular. She gets dumped in the parking lot at prom by her college-aged boyfriend. And honestly? Good on Bradley for breaking up with Gia. She really was this self-centered girl who only cared about how hot he was and showing up her “friend” Jules, who had apparently been challenging whether Bradley actually existed?
Excuse me while I stand in the corner and cringe.
This was a quick read, it only took me a few days, and if I had the chance to sit down and read it in one sitting, I probably would have. However, I couldn’t connect to the story or the characters. The writing felt juvenile and lackluster. That being said, I did find the romance to be kind of cute.
Oh man, the characters in this book. I just. I couldn’t connect to them. I found Gia, our main character, to be shallow and annoying. Most of her problems or issues throughout the novel were things she brought on herself. And those that she didn’t, were so cliche. We had, “this girl hates me and is trying to sabotage my life” and “omg which boy do I really like”. Some of her issues could have been solved if Gia had simply just told the damn truth. However, I did like how she developed as a character. I feel like by the end of the book, she wasn’t the same shallow girl she had been in the beginning.
Hayden was the only character I didn’t really have an issue with. His sister, Bec, was alright at times but was extremely immature and hypocritical 90% of the time. Gia’s brother was an asshole. Her parents were dismissive, and her friends were seriously shitty.
Overall, I would not recommend this book. I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy this because I’ve heard so many good things about Kasie West’s novels. I do own another book by her and plan to give it a try. I have read some reviews of people who didn’t enjoy The Fill-In Boyfriend but have enjoyed other things by this author. Hopefully, I will enjoy another story by her!