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review - the fill-in boyfriend

REVIEW + DISCUSSION:  the fill-in boyfriend, by kasie westThe Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on May 5th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository
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.

the fill-in boyfriend

this book was too adorable for my heart to handle.

this was my first kasie west novel and i absolutely ADORED it. i planned on reading one chapter, starting at 12am, and ended up finishing the entire book. in that time i was supposed to be sleeping, i was lost in the world kasie created. i have no regrets what-so-ever, but my sleep-deprived body may argue.

the plot was predictable and cliché, but i loved it because of that. i obviously knew gia, our main character, and the fill-in boyfriend were going to get together; they HAD to. it was so obvious that it was going to happen, so cliché, but i loved reading how it was executed. SO. MUCH. CUTE-NESS. i love how this ending actually CONCLUDES. i feel with most contemporary novels, my biggest complaint is the lack of closure. i’m glad this book was not the case. i also really enjoyed kasie’s writing style. there was a lot of dialogue in the writing and the story was super easy to get into. I JUST REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK OKAY.

“We rarely find a depth by looking inside of ourselves for it. Depth is found in what we can learn from the people and things around us. Everyone, everything, has a story, Gia. When you learn those stories, you learn experiences that fill you up, that expand your understanding. You add layers to your soul.”

the characters had so much depth! not only was the chemistry fantastic (it really really was fantastic), but the characters were profoundly complex. i feel like gia is often misunderstood at first and goes through a lot of development, to my surprise. she was portrayed differently than most “popular girls” in pop culture, which was AWESOMEEEE.

i especially loved the storyline/concept, characters, and relationships. THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND was a short, easy, fluffy read that still had strong themes. although it’s a romance, that wasn’t the only aspect of the book. i thought it was very “YA” with the all the “finding yourself” and high school prom and romance whatnot, which i loved. overall, this was wonderful and i can’t wait to read other kasie west novels!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.8

spoiler-filled discussion beginning!! please do not read unless you’ve finished the book. you’ve been warned.


I LOVED THESE CHARACTERS!!!

especially gia. i feel like she went through so much development and there was SO MUCH depth. she seemed really shallow at first, but it’s clear she’s the complete opposite. when you’re surrounded by people who do/show things on the surface, how can you expect to be any different? everything was so guarded that she didn’t even know who she truly was anymore. what’s beautiful and rare about gia is that she’s a genuinely nice person, and you rarely see that portrayed in books that follow the “popular girl.”

fill-in bradley is THE BEST!!! how can a guy be the perfect mixture of nerdy and nice and sarcastic and cute?! HE CAN’T BE REAL. (i mean, he isn’t real, but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.) our two main characters are both so perfectly flawed I CRY. MY EMOTIONS. also BEC!!! there is so much GROWTH in all of these characters it’s so great. i love hayden’s family so much. in some ways, i felt like his mom acted more of a mom to gia than gia’s own mother.

gia’s parents and friends were very transparent, but it heightened gia’s character growth. it shows WHY gia acted and thought herself shallow because that’s how she was raised. her parents and friends were always closed up, picture perfect on the surface, which is how she learned to cope with things. that’s why when she finally surrounded herself with people who had depth, she realized all those things (along with her brother’s video). so although i wasn’t a fan of how they acted/were as people, i really liked how their character shaped OUR character, gia.

yeahhhh i just really loved these characters. what were your thoughts?? let me know in the comments!

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is an eighteen-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.

  • Aww I loved this book. It was so cute but also had a lot more depth to it than I originally thought it would, which was nice surprise. 🙂

  • yesss i’ve been waiting for this review ever since you mentioned you’d finished the fill in boyfriend. and although i think i might be the odd one out here but the fill in boyfriend is my favourite kasie west contemporary! (and i’m fairly sure i lost some much needed sleep finishing this book as well.) i think what really set the fill in boyfriend for me from the other books was how much i could relate to gia. i know others hated her for the very same reasons i loved her but honestly like what she felt is so pertinent to everyone today who uses social media. ALSO FILL IN BRADLEY OMG

  • I’m glad to read such positive review! I’ve been eyeing this book for a while and I really want to read it at some point. From the summary, I gathered how predictable and cliché it would be, but I’m sure I will be able to enjoy the story nonetheless. Can’t wait to read this, great review! 🙂

  • I love Kasie West’s contemporaries! I haven’t read this one yet, but you should check out her other ones. Although her romances are cliché, they’re executed so well and you can’t help falling for the characters. Seriously need to pick this one up soon! Awesome review!