Fill-In Boyfriend, The
I was looking for a good contemporary and picked this book up on a whim one day shopping at Target. I am really glad that I did. This book was great. It really delivered on romance, troubles/problems, friendship and family in the lives of young adults. The pace for this book was fast and I actually was able to finish this one in a day. I loved the witty remarks and banter between the main players and found myself relating to a lot of the situations discussed in this novel.
However, with all YA novels there is always some situations that the characters get into or things that they say that make you say "WHY? JUST DON'T!!". And of course then you roll your eyes. There were times that I did do this with that book but overall I still liked it and thought the author did a nice job. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a nice contemporary book.
Anyhoo, this was straight up adorable, in usual Kasie West fashion! I am SUCH a fan of her books -- from Pivot Point and all of its awesome paranormal/sci-fi aspects to the fluffiest, cutest contemps -- and I instantly preordered this book once I knew of its existence! I just love her writing and all of the romances are always so stinkin' cute.
Let's see. The Fill-In Boyfriend was naturally adorable and I had some total laugh-out-loud moments! I really like how all of Kasie West's heroines share similar goals and learn similar lessons but they always feel very different and unique!
I LOVED Fill-In Bradley and the whole concept was just so much fun. It was also hard because you just knew how things would eventually break bad! Anyway. Nothing bad to say about this one. All smiles, all happy, all fun. I love Kasie West forever and ever.
Full review originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 5/5/15: I have grown to be a HUGE Kasie West fan. I just loved the Pivot Point duology and have been head over heels for her contemporary books so far. As soon as I heard about THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, I immediately pre-ordered the book and was lucky enough to grab at copy when I was at ALA Midwinter in Chicago this year! Although THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND isn’t my favorite of hers so far, there’s nothing bad to be said about this book and it’s just as delightful and fun as I had hoped it would be!
The book wastes no time introducing the situation at hand with Gia and how she ends up having a “fill-in boyfriend” and their interactions are just plain adorable. I didn’t relate to Gia as much as I have with previous Kasie West heroines but I do admire that she’s not really afraid to ask for what she wants, and when her boyfriend leaves her in the parking lot at prom (what a jerk, right?) all she wants is to save face in front of her friends because her frenemy is pushing the idea that he doesn’t exist. Fortunately, she finds a Fill-In Bradley and he is too adorable and willing to play along to help out a total stranger. The relationship that begins to form between the two just totally worked and I just really loved the dynamic between Gia and Fill-In Bradley. (Yes, he does have a real name but it’s not revealed until later in the book so while other reviews may mention him by name, I’m going to leave you guessing because it was fun for me not to know until Gia did!) They really played off each other quite well, with Gia being a bit more head strong and unafraid to say what was on her mind and FIB being a bit more reserved. They balanced each other out and FIB helped Gia see a different side of herself that she wasn’t able to see around her friends.
The friendships in this book were really interesting and I loved seeing so many different types of friendships! Of course we see Gia and FIB start to become friends out of nowhere and because the way that they met was so wacky and unconventional, they don’t really need to hold back in any way. Gia also ends up talking to a girl in one of her classes who is very much on the opposite side of the social realm. Bec is a bit anti-establishment, definitely not one of the “popular” kids like Gia is, and unlike most people in the school, doesn’t really care what Gia thinks or what anyone thinks, really. She’s able to tell Gia like it is and dish out some of her own medicine and their sort of mutual dislike starts to transform into a solid friendship (especially since Gia is the type of person who doesn’t like to have people dislike her). Then there’s the frenemy story line, which isn’t something I’m usually interested in but Kasie West totally makes this one work. Gia’s best friend is also best friends with a girl named Jules who for some reason seems to have it in for Gia but at the same time, remains in their friend group. Gia struggles with questioning why Jules seems to want to turn her friends against her or if she just feels threatened and is making the situation out to be much worse than it really is. I just really loved all of the different ways these characters come together (or are pushed apart) and am once again so impressed with how well Kasie strings these all together!
The romance, of course, was positively adorable. I love some good banter in books and Gia and FIB just really played off of each other so well. Then of course, Gia starts to develop the FEELS — and who can blame her? This guy is seriously cute and I love that he’s a sort of nerdy type and totally not what Gia thought she would be into. I sort of love unexpected romances like that so I was all for the two of them eventually falling in love! Each character has their own past and skeletons in their closet when it comes to relationships (although clearly FIB knows Gia’s) so naturally, things become complicated, especially when trying to maintain a fake relationship meanwhile wondering if it really is real.
All-in-all, 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.