Monday, May 4, 2015

Review ~ The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 352
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
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. 
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Fill-In Boyfriend was a really sweet and quick read. Kasie West fans won't be disappointed!

Gia was an interesting, flawed main character. She didn't speak up and tell people her thoughts or feelings. She was scared of losing friends and didn't trust them the way she should have (which was a big problem). Throughout the book, she felt shallow, with no depth. (Gia felt that way about herself. That wasn't how I felt about her. Not exactly, anyway.) She thought lowly of herself--didn't realize her worth. There was a lot of flaws to this character, which made her story better for me. I really liked it when she started realizing what her flaws. It pushed her to work on connecting to people more. To become a better person and a better friend.

The romance was sweet. I definitely rooted for the two. I loved how understanding the fill-in guy was. He and the support he gave Gia really helped her out.

This book had a LOT of great focuses. There was so much to it! How you measure your worth. Family relationships. Being a "better person." Giving people second chances. Expressing our real feelings. Trusting friends and being their for one another. Communication and knowing (or not really knowing) another person.

There was also a very big friendship focus, which felt like it could've been more developed. I wanted to see more between Gia and Claire. They were supposed to be best friends, but they didn't interact enough to convince me that they were that close. There was a hole of sorts in the story when it came to the friends. I wanted more from it.

There was something . . . missing to this book. Oddly enough, it felt like it didn't dig deep enough for what was going on. It felt like some threads of the story--mainly with Gia's family and old friends--weren't as well put together as the other parts, like Gia's character growth, the romance, and development of the fill-in guy and Gia. 
It felt a little unbalanced.

Overall, The Fill-In Boyfriend was a lighthearted, sweet contemporary with a good flawed main character. Compared to the author's other books, I don't think I liked it quite as much as On the Fence, but I think I liked more than The Distance Between Us. I really liked the story, romance, and focuses of this one. It seemed like a memorable read. I'm looking forward to rereading this one sometime!

2015 challenges this book counts towards:
105 Challenge

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