Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Paperback, 352 Pages
Published May 2015
Rating: 3/5 Stars
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Summary: 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 bought a copy of this book after BookCon this past May, because it was only $5.00 at The Strand - which is such a great bookstore with amazing prices that I would recommend to anybody taking a trip to Manhattan. Anyway, the story starts right away with Gia being dumped by her perfect college boyfriend, Bradley, in the parking lot of the venue where her prom is just about to begin. As if that isn't bad enough, that night was the night where Gia was supposed to prove to her friends, who had never met Bradley and were starting to get suspicious, that he really existed.
So, yeah. Right away she recognizes how screwed she is. Panicking and without any sort of backup plan, Gia stumbles across a mysterious boy that she's never met, sitting in his car in the parking lot. After a lot of babbling, she manages to convince him to race back home and come back in a suit, pretending to be Bradley. She doesn't even catch his name.
But after the mysterious boy is done being Bradley, Gia starts to want to know who he is. After a few instances where she realizes that she may have been closer to his family than she thought, their paths cross again and sparks begin to fly - except for the fact that her real Bradley has stepped back into the picture. Yikes.
I liked this book - it wasn't fantastic and it wasn't terrible and it was certainly better than just meh. I wasn't a big fan of Gia's character - she seemed utterly spoiled and self-centered and selfish at times, even if she had major changes to her character as her book went along. In the beginning I couldn't really stand her, because she came off as one of those girls who felt that they were so fantastic that the world owed them everything. Those kind of girls are the worst.
But like I said, Gia had several lessons throughout the book that led her to have a change of heart, and I can definitely say with confidence that her character improved - she still had a touch of her old ways, though, which bothered me a little bit. The reasons that I gave this book a three-star rating were Gia's self-entitlement that never really seemed to go away (although it faded a little bit, it was still there) and the writing style at times. It seemed a bit off, and it's hard to explain. At certain times, Gia was explaining things in a way that made her sound more middle-grade than a senior in high school. The writing style just made it a little tough to believe that you were reading the thoughts of a girl about to be an adult. (This honestly shocks me because I've read books by Kasie West before and it's never been that way.)
But I still enjoyed the story. It's definitely something that I haven't read before - a girl getting dumped in the parking lot right before prom and picking a stranger to moonlight as her boyfriend while she tries to calm her panic. Watching the whole thing play out (while Gia's sworn enemy did all she could to track down the truth) was amusing and definitely held my attention. I kept wanting to know what would happen next.
As for the mystery boy, you eventually find out his name - which I won't spoil for you guys! As his friendship/relationship with Gia grows outside of him moonlighting as Bradley, the story is filled with tons of swoon-worthy moments that I loved. There was no insta-love, which is another great part of this book, since I hate insta-love.
All in all, The Fill-In Boyfriend is an enjoyable tale of romance, drama, friendship, and being true to yourself. I liked reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anybody looking for a light summer read. This isn't my favorite book of all time by Kasie West, but it's definitely up there and even though I wasn't super crazy about it, you should pick it up yourself and give it a try!