June 8, 2020

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend

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The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Grade: B-
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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Kasie West has long been a shining star in the YA romance market. The Fill-In Boyfriend was one of her earlier offerings, and it has quite the interesting - but complicated - conceit. Nothing good can come from Gia pretending someone else is her boyfriend. As she gets more and more involved with fake Bradley and his sister, her lies keep spiraling.
But it's easy to see why Gia lies; she is a perfectionist, raised by parents who like a perfect façade and don't enjoy discourse or confrontation. Furthermore, Jules is the worst kind of frenemy. Maybe Gia hasn't been the best friend, but Jules seems to only want to sow discord in the group. How friendships evolve and grow is a big part of this story, even more so than the romance at times. Though there's definitely something brewing with fake Bradley. He and his family are a much-needed, interesting addition to Gia's life.
Still, I was left feeling that almost everything in this book was rather surface-level. I wanted more depth and feeling.

The Verdict: This book is like vanilla ice cream. Nice, but nothing new or especially ground-breaking.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Already have.

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