Author: Kasie West
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: 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. (via Goodreads)
I already have one book by Kasie West, On The Fence, and have not read it yet but I really wanted to pick this one up and read it because the cover is so cute! And I’ve been craving quick contemporary reads lately because I can’t seem to get myself to read through any series at the moment. I had been reading the fifth book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, and I LOVE her books, but I just couldn’t get through it.
Anyway, The Fill-In Boyfriend was as cute as its cover! The premise wasn’t very original and utilized a common trope I’ve read in many fanfictions in the past: two people entering into a fake relationship to either make someone else jealous, or to keep up appearances for the sake of their reputation. In this case, however, it was both! And, of course, those two aforementioned people inevitably fall in love with each other instead and then it’s happily ever after. As common as that trope is though, I admit it’s one of my favorites which is why I wanted to read The Fill-In Boyfrend in the first place. And I’m so glad I did! I read this so fast – it took me about three days – and I read at about an average speed.
We have Gia Montgomery: the typical popular, superficial high school girl who has a reputation to keep, so when her college boyfriend Bradly breaks up with her just outside of prom, she finds herself in a dilemma. Firstly, she doesn’t want to walk into prom alone. And secondly, Gia has a frenemy named Jules (hate her; she’s so annoying) who is always looking for dirt on her and is doubtful of Bradley’s existence. Luckily for her, she finds a guy sitting in his car and manages to convince him to pretend to be her, now ex-boyfriend, Bradley.
It’s probably because it’s been several years since I was in high school, but maybe also because superficial people really irritate me, but at this point I really, really didn’t like Gia. Sure, I felt sorry for her that her boyfriend pulled a jerk-move and broke up with her right outside of prom, but I couldn’t put all the blame on him. Especially not when the first thing she thought of, after not having seen Bradley for two weeks, was how her friends were going to react when they finally met him. Thankfully, throughout the story, Gia changes and matures, slowly realizing there is a more profound side to her that is closer to her true self than the facade she puts up on social media and school.
Hayden, the guy who Gia convinced to pretend to be Bradley for prom, is one of my favorite characters in this book. I love his funny, witty banter with Gia and that he’s so kind and loyal. One of his major flaws, however, is that he’s too loyal; loyal to a fault. Mix in sucky friends – not to mention a horrible ex-girlfriend – and we have a problem here. As much as I adored Hayden, there were moments when I wanted slap some sense into him, especially in the last half of the book after Gia had an awful interaction with his close friend Spencer. In general though, Hayden is a great guy; he’s funny, charming, talented, kind, and comes from an awesome tight-knit family. His younger sister Bec is my absolute favorite character though. She speaks her mind, really cares about her brother, and doesn’t take crap from anyone.
I really loved the dynamic between Gia and Hayden. Right from the beginning I knew they worked really well together. They had a natural chemistry that worked really well for them when they had to pretend to be in a relationship, and they were honestly happy being around each other. Hayden brought out the real side of Gia that she didn’t even know was buried within her, and she helped him realize he’d been surrounding himself with the wrong kind of friends. Gia encouraged him to pursue his passion with acting and film, and Hayden, in turn, encouraged her to express herself and stop trying to hide her true emotions and thoughts inside, as she had been conditioned to do by her family.
This was such a super cute book that I definitely need to purchase a copy of, but I’ll wait until I can get Kasie to sign it because I’m just spoiled that way. I would absolutely recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a light, quick read with a cute story about friendship, trust, honesty, love, and forgiveness. I can’t wait to read more of Kasie’s books!