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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: May 5 2015
Publishing House:  HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062336385


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 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 to 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 favour 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.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Out of all the contemporary books Kasie West has published, this has got to be my least favourite. Why? Maybe because the character is boy obsessed? She's more concerned with appearances which makes her come off as really shallow. And don't get me started on her obsession with social media and the validation of strangers. The number of likes your photo on Instagram or that picture you tweeted of your hipster coffee does not make you.

These are the characters I cannot relate to. I just can't wrap my mind around not ditching people who aren't good for you or for being too concerned about what other people think. I'm super chill, I don't get worked up over boys and what people think. I don't find myself losing sleep over tossing toxic people to the curb or for not being on top of the social hierarchy. I couldn't relate to the obsession with social media too. I'm known to delete photos on Instagram though, not because of the number of likes but because of the overall quality of the photo. (Sometimes I don't because I'm lazy and I have way too much nail ideas.)

So maybe this is why as I was reading the book I found that it contained way too much unnecessary drama. Also the whole fake boyfriend trope isn't really my thing. I hate it with a vengeance. And Gia's friends - all I have to say is what kind of friends are they? I'd insert a few cuss words here but I'm not allowed to swear. Pffffff.

That's not to say the book was a total disappointment. I did finish it in one go and while the romance wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst too. After reading The Distance Between Us and On the Fence though, I kind of expected more from Kasie. I did notice that there was more character development in this book seeing as how Gia goes from shallow, flighty popular girl to someone more mature. Not perfect, never perfect, but way better than how she was at the beginning. And as for the fill-in boyfriend? Cute. He's probably my favourite out of this cast of characters. Different from the type you normally find in contemporary novels.

Overall, in my opinion, this isn't one of Kasie's best works. A bit of a let-down but that doesn't mean I'm giving up on her books. If you want to try her contemporary books may I suggest The Distance Between Us? That one was so cute I find myself reaching for it from time to time when I'm in need of fluff in my life.

Thank you to Harper for an advanced copy of this book.




  1. THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND was exactly what I had hoped it would be and I just loved it! I think I connected more with other plots and characters from previous Kasie West books so this one didn’t take over as my favorite of hers but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it all the same! I’m always so impressed with her storytelling and how she brings characters and plot to life.

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  2. woah... ive heard a lot of mixed things about this one. im in a dilemma.

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