I had this book on my iPad for a while as part of my 2016 Goodreads Award Winner reading challenge, but never picked it up and read it until just now. ‘The Fill-In Boyfriend‘ by Kasie West is your typical High School fake-boyfriend turns into real-boyfriend teen romance book (stereotypical fanfic High School AU plot line).
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.
While this is not my typical book (high school, fake boyfriend, romance) i did enjoy reading it. Initially i though this book was not for me. Gia, the main character, was shallow, obsessed with popularity, social media and maintaining her image of perfection to the point of asking a random guy in the carpark to pretend to be her boyfriend. Her ‘real’ boyfriend, Bradley, dumped her just before Prom. One of the girls in her friendship ground, Jules, is apparently ‘out to get her’ and break apart her friendship group and believes that her ‘attractive college boyfriend’ is made up to maintain her image and heighten her social status. So of course the best course of action is to enlist the help of a guy in the car park to be her pretend date-and of course this tentative agreement inevitably turns into something more at the end of the book (spoilers).
One of the highlights of this book for me is the character development and growth of Gia throughout the story. Initially she was a stereotypical popular high school girl, intent on living the high school dream. She was shallow and had many hidden insecurities regarding her friendships, her relationship with hr boyfriend and intent on everything being perfect and living the life she has planned out. Though her friendship with fill-in-Bradley (whose name she does not find out until well after prom, Hayden) and his sister Bec she realises that she needs more in her life, that high school is not everything, that she was controlling in some aspects of her life and her relationship with her family and friends is not what she thinks it is. There are some important messages about social media and the desire for recognition through the number of ‘likes’ you receive on pictures and how many twitter followers you have as well as the importance of trust between friends and family.
It is a simple book with a predictable and simple plot, though underneath it does raise some important points about high school and popularity. The writing is easy to read and the plot just interesting enough to keep you reading until the end. However it is not groundbreaking or ‘new’. The ‘Fill-In Boyfriend’ is a YA romance story and something to read if you are looking for something cute and light hearted on a rainy day.
I am starting to include a rating system in my reviews, as you can see above 🙂 So lets see how that goes. Also as always, share with me your reviews and recommendations.