The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
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 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. (Goodreads)
The Story: Gia’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot just before the beginning of prom. I know! Gia’s a fast-talking, pretty, popular girl but she knows that if she walks into that prom sans Bradley, her friends—and worse, her frenemy, Jules—will think she’s been lying about the existence of her college boyfriend. She grabs the first guy she sees in the parking lot, someone sitting in his truck reading a book, and practically begs him to pretend to be Bradley. Fake Bradley goes along with the plan. He even manages to charm Gia’s friends. And when the two stage a quick breakup in front of everyone, Gia’s clan buys it hook, line, and sinker. Fake Bradley and Gia part with a distant promise that Gia owes him one. In the days following, it’s not her ex-boyfriend that keeps crossing Gia’s mind, but Fake Bradley. She doesn’t even know his name! And when he finally calls in his favor they dig themselves a deeper hole of lies. Now, Gia is filling in to make Fake Bradley’s ex jealous. Only guess what? It’s fun. She enjoys him and she has to keep reminding herself that this is all just a favor and not real. She doesn’t know how to be honest with her friends, especially as the lies keep piling up, and she doesn’t know how Fake Bradley (otherwise known as Hayden) truly feels about her.
My Thoughts: I’ve become a big fan of Kasie West and this is SUCH a cute summer book. Gia is a little hard to like at first because she’s so concerned about what her friends think. But that all melts away pretty quickly. And Hayden is downright adorable. Even though these two are lying to many of the people most important to them, as the reader I understood why. And more, I loved them for their willingness to do it for each other, especially considering that they were virtually strangers. They have a cute friendship and a sweet connection. I found myself smiling the whole time I was reading. West is definitely trying to send a larger message here about the need for approval from others, about perception vs. reality, and about being happy with yourself, but it’s not a heavy book. This one is pure fun.
Crush Intensity: 4.25/5
Where’d I Get It: The library! Best place ever.