The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

I love Kasie West’s stories. They are so endearing. I find myself unable to control the smile plastered on my face while reading, and The Fill-In Boyfriend is no different.

18660447When 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.

There was a time when I thought I didn’t like Contemporary YA, but that must have been the Twilight phase when it was paranormal/fantasy or nothing. However, I’m happy to report that I DO like Contemporary YA very much, and Kasie West is the main reason.

Her books have fun characters with depth. Her writing is always in the moment and her characters learn and grow throughout the story. She always has a unique premise for a timeless love story between two teenagers.

The Fill-In Boyfriend was so much fun. I was laughing and smiling throughout the whole debacle as Gia and Hayden work through their “need” for a fake boyfriend/girlfriend. I loved that they were so natural together and fought the way they felt about each other because, ya know, awkward teenage emotions.

I had a soft spot for Hayden’s sister Beck. I was that emo, loud-mouthed girl in high school, where it was me against the world, so I totally felt her character. Plus, it was nice to see such a strong brother-sister bond.

The lesson regarding social media addiction, searching for validation in others and loving oneself came through pretty clear in this book, but I didn’t feel like it was a forced lesson. The characters learned them on their own and the reader was just a spectator that can either take it or leave it.

I recommend this fun read to anyone who likes a sweet romance, characters with wit and an endearing story about family, growing up and finding love.

STARS: 4.5 out of 5

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