Published by HarperTeen on May 5th 2015
Also by this author: The Distance Between Us, P.S. I Like You, By Your Side
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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’ve been a fan of Kasie West’s contemporary books, On The Fence and The Distance Between Us. However, her latest book is the one that I personally loved the most. I think most of this is because I could relate to Gia in a way that I couldn’t with her other protagonists. I also really believed the growth that happened to Gia throughout the book. I felt like the focus on friends and family was extremely well done and the romance was just the icing on top of it all.
The Fill-In Boyfriend was just a beautiful book all around for me. I’m not going to say much about the guy who Gia uses as “Fill in Bradley” (her boyfriend Bradley dumped her in the parking lot at prom) since it’s kind of a secret. Honestly, I was expecting his name to be kept a secret longer than it was since most of the reviews I’ve read don’t reveal it. However, I will say that the love interest is sweet and a little bit of a nerd, which makes him even cooler to me. Gia and him form a sort of bond after the prom incident. His sister Bec attends Gia’s school and although they both come from different social groups, they end up somehow becoming close friends.
A lot of this book focuses on being true to yourself and not pretending to be someone that you aren’t just to make other people happy. Gia has a huge habit of doing things just to keep up her popular status. She is a little bit of a brat in the beginning who is way too obsessed with how her friends see her. But I love how she matures as the book goes on. She becomes more comfortable in her own skin and forms a friendship with Bec, a girl who is completely loyal and honest with her, while her own group of friends isn’t always that way. Bec and her fill-in boyfriend have a large part in helping Gia figure out who exactly she is.
There’s a lot of interesting things that happen between Gia and her family. I can’t tell you how mad I was at her older brother. He was so pretentious and I couldn’t believe what he did to his little sister. What made me even angrier was how her parents reacted to what he did. Anyway, I definitely enjoyed this book more than I thought that I would honestly. I felt like the fake to real thing might be off-putting but Kasie West made it work in the most effortless way. I’m beyond glad that I decided to give this one a try!