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.
Behold: the cutest book in all of existence. Alright, maybe not in all of existence since there are oodles of cute books out there, but it’s definitely the cutest book in existence on my bookshelf. Better? After my last contemporary read, which ripped my heart out by the way, I needed something that was just really light and fluffy, something that would put a big smile on my face. This book did exactly that. This one has actually been sitting on my shelf for a few months now because I kept telling myself that I needed to wait for the right time to read it and finally, that time came. I’ve actually never read a Kasie West book before but a friend of mine has and I know that she always talks about how cute her books are and I’d have to agree with her. I wasn’t expecting something deep or profound, which is perfectly fine because not all books are meant to be like that. This was the type of book to make you happy and make you feel better and I love that it did that for me. If you want me to be super critical of this book I’d probably give it 3.5 stars but because it was so fun and cute I’m giving it 4 stars.
- I think my favourite thing about this book was the fact that there was never any sense of insta-love between Gia and Hayden, and if you know me then you’d know how much I really dislike insta-love. Even though it was a bit ridiculous for Gia to find this boy in a parking lot and get him to be her prom date, I liked that even after that they did little things to see each other and in my opinion it was never forced. Well, it was kind of forced given how they first met and then how Hayden’s sister tricked Gia to being his date to a party, but that’s not what I meant. I could tell that these two really hit it off and there was obvious chemistry between them; they constantly asked each other questions, had witty banter, cracked jokes, and really just had good conversation. There was a lot of solid buildup in the relationship and we got to that point in a very healthy way. And the biggest way to tell it was never a case of insta-love was the fact that neither Gia or Hayden ever said the phrase “I love you” and it was awesome!! I can’t remember the last time I read a cute YA contemporary where the couple never said this so it felt super refreshing and incredibly realistic. Like, these are still young kids who have literally known each other for a month; that’s not love. I can see them getting to that point but I’m glad we’re not there at any point in this story. Well done, Kasie West.
- Even though this was mainly a fluffy story, there were a few lessons sprinkled here and there. They weren’t overpowering or subtle; to me, they were somewhere in the middle. One of them is how wrong and unhealthy it is to rely on how many likes on social media we get to justify any of our thoughts or decisions. This was something Gia focused a lot on but as the story went on, and as she began to change and develop, she relied less on social media and listened not only to herself but to those around her and was able to trust her decisions on her own. The second lesson that I found was the importance of talking about your feelings rather than covering them up and burying them. Again, this was something Gia did a lot because it’s what her family does and it’s how she was brought up. But being with Hayden and seeing how his family talks to one another, and even how Hayden talks to her, Gia learned how she really needs to start opening up. I liked that these little lessons and morals weren’t the main focus of the story but still went beyond the surface. It felt quite fitting for the style and overall mood of the book.
- I love the name Hayden for so many reasons so thank you, Kasie West, for giving this cute boy a wonderful name such as this. It made my reading experience that much better.
- Honestly, Gia’s friends were HORRIBLE. I understand they’re mad about Gia’s lying but in retrospect, the lie she told wasn’t the worst thing she could’ve done to them. It was also really dumb how that one girl was hellbent on “exposing” Gia for what seemed like no reason at all. I know this came out in 2015 so we weren’t all about girls supporting girls yet but Gia is so much better off without her “friends.” They held her back and once she started spending less time with them she really grew into an awesome person.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- If you’re looking for a super cute and easy read, you should definitely pick up this one. It might feel a bit young, especially if you’re in your 20s like I am, but the story is so cute and the lessons are timeless so I can see the worth in it. Also, if you just went through emotional turmoil in your last read this will cheer you up immediately and for sure warm your heart.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Pages: 346 (Paperback)
Until next time,
What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!