I fill in five stars for The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West.
The Fill-In Boyfriend focuses on Gia Montgomery, a popular girl whose boyfriend dumps her in the parking lot before prom. To not disappoint her friends, Gia finds a boy to pose as her ex-boyfriend, Bradley. To return the favor, Gia poses as fake Bradley’s girlfriend at his exes graduation party. Soon, Gia’s lies start to catch up with her and threaten to ruin her perfect life.
I’ve read one Kasie West book in the past, The Distance Between Us, and enjoyed it. Then, I saw The Fill-In Boyfriend as a Kindle deal and quickly purchased it. After reading a few negatives reviews about not liking the main character or story line, I was afraid that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as The Distance Between Us. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised and liked this book even more than The Distance Between Us!
I think one of the main reasons people dislike this book is the main character, Gia. When readers first meet Gia, she is incredibly shallow and willing to lie in order to protect her reputation. However, as the book goes on, Gia really tries to be a better person. Obviously, Gia struggles with maintaining her image and doing what is right, so she doesn’t always do the right thing. However, I loved seeing her change throughout the book and think she becomes a more likable character at the end of the novel.
I also really enjoyed the side characters in this book. Gia’s “friends” are very similar to people that I remember in high school. I liked how Bec, a girl strikingly different than Gia’s usual crowd, helped Gia overlook stereotypes but also learned to overlook them herself. I also really appreciated how the author portrayed Gia’s family and how it influenced the person she became. Gia’s parents are very emotionally unavailable and are complete perfectionists. I think many people could relate Gia’s family dynamics.
As for the romance, I think Gia and Hayden were a cute couple and I enjoyed reading more about their relationship more than Caymen and Xander in The Distance Between Us. I liked how even though they were very different people, they both experienced similar situations that they bonded over. Gia and Hayden had a lot of cute couple experiences and phrases which will help them remember me in a sea of YA contemporary romances.
The Fill-In Boyfriend was a cute book that I breezed through in one sitting. After reading this book, I definitely plan on picking up for Kasie West books in the future. I give The Fill-In Boyfriend five out of five stars.