Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. Her friends needed to believe he existed. Spotting a cute boy waiting in the parking lot, she enlists his help as her fill-in Bradley—no commitment, just one night, and a couple lies.
Oh, but they’re fake relationship isn’t over after prom. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party. And when Gia starts thinking about fill-in Bradley more than the real one things get complicated.
The fake boyfriend/girlfriend thing is such a trope, but I love it and fall for it every time. I mean, you know what’s going to happen, but I feel like it’s the journey that’s more important here. And in this book the journey is so much fun and still a little unique considering the trope.
Gia is a little superficial, which she is also kind of constantly being accused of, but it didn’t really bother me. I think it’s because she wasn’t actually that bad underneath it all and I could see where she was coming from. Her parents are very surface with her, her brother isn’t really involved, and her friends aren’t really trusting her. She’s been taught to always up on this image and when it gets challenged she gets desperate.
Fill-in Bradley, aka Hadley, is adorable. I love that he’s kind of a nerd and does theater—but he’s not the stereotyped “theater nerd” really. They’re separate parts of him. He’s very real and honest but in a gentle way—except when it comes to throwing some baseballs. And those moments when his gentleness came out in regards to Gia were really sweet.
Bec—Hadley’s sister who goes to school with Gia—is like my favorite. She dresses kind of stereo typically “goth” at least at school, but according to Hadley it’s a phase and she makes these new personalities all of the time. Either way, she’s totally blunt, angsty, and angry and it’s great.
Then we have Gia’s friend group, which she is kind of seen as the leader of. Claire is her best friend within the group. And then there’s Jules, the new girl who has joined the group and is trying to turn them against Gia . There was another girl but honestly I can’t remember her name, she was kind of a nonentity and I feel like she din’t have to be there. Claire I liked and I liked how there was that best friend dynamic still within a group, but I still wanted her personality to be a little bit more developed. I liked Jules, her catty and underhandedness was written perfectly. Girls—especially in high school—can totally be like that.
Overall, Kasie’s writing I fun, and what I like to call light contemporary. Yeah, it’s predictable, but I still felt good and swoony after reading it and that was all I was after. You can find The Fill-In Boyfriend on Amazon and the author at kasiewest.com.