I received this book for free from ARC Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperTeen on May 5th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Source: ARC Tour
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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.
Kasie West has a beautiful talent of creating these stories with amazing characters to root for and storylines that flow so seamlessly that it’s hard to believe you’ve come to the end when you have. The Fill-In Boyfriend was no different and everything I hoped it would be!
Gia is the leader of the pack of her friends, so to speak. Yet one ‘friend’ seems to be doing everything she can to push Gia out of that very role. So when Gia’s long distance boyfriend, that nobody has met yet, leaves her in the parking lot of prom, she has to think quick, not wanting to face the embarrassment with her friends. Enter fill-in Bradley (Hayden), who just so happened to have witnessed the breakup and reluctantly agrees to take her instead, pretending to be Bradley. It seems like the perfect plan, until Gia can’t stop thinking about Hayden.
Oh Gia, what a mess you got yourself into to! Even though she appeared to be a little shallow in the beginning, it was completely obvious to me that Gia was not at all what she seemed on the surface, and she discovers that for herself throughout the story. It was like prom and the lie were huge stepping stones starting Gia on a path of self discovery. Turns out she didn’t really know who she was. And she was tired of playing the perfect-on-the-outside role she had her whole life. It was time to break free! To learn about life, and people, and even anger and sadness. Things that were new to her. Hayden and his sister, Bec, played a huge part in Gia’s journey and both were great additions to the story. Bec was the girl who represented the complete opposite of who Gia was. Someone the old her barely even glanced at. But Bec was hella cool. She could dish out the attitude, sass and confidence in who she was. She was the girl you go to to help scream it out and let out your emotions. A true friend who would tell it like it is, not take any of your crap, but would be by your side the moment you needed her. In fact, I kept thinking how much I’d love her own spin-off story… (hint, hint). Wishful thinking. And Hayden, how I adored him! He was kind of dreamy and adorkable but also real and human, making his own mistake now and again. Hayden and Gia were the perfect pair. I loved watching them secretly become enamored with each other when they were trying oh so hard to not make that so. Every light touch and smile they send to each other left me smiling as well.
I loved how the whole story came together at the end. It felt truthful and honest for the storyline and was a great example of how wonderfully satisfying things can come together without being picture perfect. That sometimes leaving a little bit open-ended in certain respects can make all the difference. I could not believe how fast I flew through this one, enjoying every minute of Gia’s path. It was one of those books I dreaded having to put down in moments of real life distractions and one I was sad to see end.
Kasie West is fantastic at writing cute and fun contemporaries filled with well-rounded characters and that touch of romance to melt your heart. Another well done novel that is a must to get your hands on! Now how long until her next book?