My rating in stars: 4,5 stars
My rating in words: I loved it!
What it’s about:
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.
My thoughts (Spoiler-free):
“How is selfworth measured today? By the amount of likes a post gets, by how many friends we collect, by how many retweets we accumulate? Do we even know what we really think until we post our thoughts online and let others tell us if they are worthy?”
Oh look, another Kasie West book read in one sitting! These books are so incredibly addictive in their cute, swoony fluffiness and The Fill-In Boyfriend was no exception.
Though I must say, this was a little harder to read than the other Kasie West books I’ve read. And that is mainly because the main character Gia is such an unlikeable character in the beginning and her antics were selfish, naive and even downright childish. I felt old reading this, because I just wanted to smack her and tell her to grow up plenty of times. Same with her bitchy, gossipy, judgmental friends.
However, don’t let that stop you. Because even though Gia starts this story as a super annoying, self-centered teen, the character development she goes through is pretty great. It’s nice watching her go on this journey of self-discovery and to see her at least try to be a better person each day.
The premise of this story is a pretty big and predictable romance trope, but honestly I can’t get enough of the ‘pretending to date to make someone jealous but then actually falling love’ trope. It feels like one of those nineties high-school rom-coms and I LOVE IT. It also helps that I absolutely loved the fill-in boyfriend. He reminded me of Clark from Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything, whom I also loved. So hey, I guess that’s just my fictional boyfriend type. But I didn’t just love him, I also loved the whole progress of his relationship with Gia. I especially loved what he brought out in her and the other way around. They helped eachother deal with their respective issues and I really appreciated this.
The secondary characters in this are pretty much hit-or-miss. Like I said, I couldn’t stand Gia’s so-called “friends”. And Gia’s mother, father and brother were all pretty unlikeable too. They each had their issues, which in turn affected Gia and turned her into the person she was. But all those unlikeable characters are balanced out pretty nicely by the amazing new people Gia meets on her journey, like the aforementioned swoony fill-in boyfriend, his angry but amazing sister Bec, their artsy, hippie mother and even smaller characters such as Nate, Marcus and Blake.
So even though this bok had its’ flaws, I still love it because of the character development and because I am trash for this kind of trope. Cute, fluffy, adorable, the perfect book if you’re in a high-school nineties rom-com mood.
“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.”
“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 lenguage.”
“Mocking someone else to make us seem deep or intelligent only proves the exact opposite.”