When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she decides to do the unthinkable…convince the cute guy waiting to pick up his sister to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. The task is simple: two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. The problem is that days after prom, she can't stop thinking about her fill-in boyfriend. But can Gia turn her fake boyfriend into a real one without exposing her lie and possibly destroying her friendships and her newfound relationship? Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Kasie West's talent shines in this tale of one girl's unexpected quest to find love…and possibly herself.
The Fill-In BoyfriendFeaturedHot
The fake Bradley walks back into Gia's life. Interestingly, it is his sister that brings the two of them together again. But all is not without pain, drama, and emotional attachments. And of course, complications and twists. The biggest twists is that fake Bradley (whose real name eludes me, but will come to me soon enough) and Gia are slowly falling in love with each other while fake Bradley is trying to get his ex back. They are great at denial, and it is a fun game of "will they or won't they?" until the plot drags on too long. Luckily, it ends with humor and a great ol' kiss. Nothing like a HEA (Happily Ever After) to end a book.
Fake Bradley's real name is [major spoiler warning here] Hayden. [End spoiler] Gia calls him Fill-in Bradley, which works perfectly fine. Ironically, the acronym of that is FIB. Fib, fib, fib. He has some issues, but he is a good actor. He is an adorable male character with some realistic issues. Plus, he has an awesome sister.
Despite the great romance and the wonderful characterization and alluring mystery of FIB, there are some lacking points. Kasie West is great, and she holds up strongly in the beginning. She unveils characterization and Gia's insecurities well, unraveling them and making the characters stronger in the end. But Gia's friends are questionable characters and their hidden depths are subtle (too subtle). The romance, as said before, hangs on too long because of the book's stalling. Also, Gia's character in the start of the book falters slightly before gaining strength and becoming remarkable. Her relationships are also great subplots to watch out for.
Last Words: First five or so chapters are perfect, which should be obvious to any reader. The plot's pacing is good, especially in the beginning. The writing is strong, which makes up for the slow (though also steady) pacing.
In conclusion, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND has a slow-burning romance with an intriguing male love interest. It is realistic, and it is best recommended for those looking for a little bit of love, a little bit of chick-lit, and a little bit of what's familiar and new.
Rating: Three out of Five
This turned out to be a quick and fun book to read. It was light and had that summer read feel to it. It was the type of book that made me wish for hot sun because reading it outside would have been so perfect.
I wasn't sure about Gia at first but she turned into a character I really grew to like. She was pretty shallow and self-absorbed at the beginning and even though Bradley pulled a jerk move right before prom, I could kind of understand why he did it. It seemed like their relationship was more about Gia and having a boyfriend than actually being in love. Gia grew throughout the book the more she started interacting with people beyond her narrow group of friends. It was like she was outgrowing their friendship and the antics that came with it. It was nice to see the growth, but also a little painful for her since she'd been friends with a couple of the girls for so long. By the end, I really liked the person Gia turned out to be.
Fill-In Boyfriend, or F-IB(read the book to find out his name:)), was a really sweet guy and I loved the dynamic of his family life. Their closeness was a sharp contrast to Gia's own home life where no one ever really talked beyond the surface of their feelings. He was really caring and a bit geeky and I just adored him. Can he be real? I also really liked his sister Bec and the developing friendship between her and Gia was so great to see.
The book said a lot about getting your self-worth from your friends, real life friends and online friends. It was great to see Gia growing out of that and finding out who she wanted to be as a person instead of being someone she wasn't just because her friends approved. Even in such a light read it still managed to bring up that important issue and use it for character growth.
The whole style of the book was that familiar Kasie West feeling that I love. Great characters with growth arcs, interesting family dynamics, humor, slow romance. I couldn't put it down. The plot moved along so it never felt slow and I didn't care that I knew what was going to happen because I was having so much fun reading it. I did connect less with Gia than I did with Charlie from On the Fence but Charlie was a lot more like me than Gia was. She was still a great character though and it was a nice read.