Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Published: May 5, 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reading Period: August 7-9, 2017
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5)
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.
Once I’ve read the synopsis I already thought that this book sounds full of cliché and had already predicted how the story ends. Anyway, I’m still on The Distance Between Us hang over when I immediately start reading this one because I’m binge reading Kasie West’s books.
It all starts when Bradley breaks up Gia in the parking lot at prom. Out of desperation, Gia ask a mystery guy to be her prom date and to save her face to her friends who’s expecting that she’ll bring her boyfriend to the prom.
What I like in this book are the message about deception and the addiction to validation. Let’s talk about deception first or how Gia lies not only to her friends but also to her friends. She can’t stop lying because she doesn’t know how and don’t want to come clean because she’s afraid of how her friends will react especially that she wants her friends approval. Yes, lying is bad and makes a person shallow. I guess I don’t have to discuss this further. What strikes me the most in this book is how it presents the addiction to validation. Another yes, the characters are not that striking but the message about how people are now addicted for any validation from strangers/online people by seeking or looking forward to number of likes or reactions in their social media accounts. It strikes me because I used to be like that. I used to count how many people liked or reacted in my posts and it affects my psychological well-being. And I learned from that that now I’m not immersed into social media like before.
As I’ve mention, the characters are not that appealing. Gia is a typical teenage girl who wants to impress her friends and hasn’t opened her eyes that the world doesn’t revolve around her. She lies because she wants her friends’ approval. How can you call them friends if they don’t trust you? Always suspects you? Their friendship is not real. They are all fake.
Also, it’s entertaining how Gia asked a stranger to be her prom date in a replacement of her supposedly prom date. Well, I must say that Bradley is a jerk and sounds like a kid not a teenage boy. Below is exactly what Bradley said that makes me think of him like that and supported by other events later in the book:
“I never want to talk to you again. You’re a shallow, self-centered snob and you deserve to walk in there alone!”
However, part of me is telling me that it is not possible to just ask someone to be your instant prom date and agreed on you, but yes, since it is fiction anything could happen. Hayden, on the other hand, is broken-hearted and the one who agreed on Gia’s request. He could be a perfect book boyfriend, but he’s too good to be true. Hayden and Bec (his sister) represents the other side Gia hasn’t explored or looked at. They bring new experience to Gia.
I’m also glad of Jules character. She keeps on bugging and questions Gia. She’s like a reminder of what Gia really is. Jules jealousy over Gia leads her to picking up and doing crazy things but those actions help Gia realize something about herself.
Overall, I like the concept but I’m not into it. I’m not that a fan of clichés. I didn’t analyze this book much and only focus on the message of the story and just have fun reading this one. Plus, the name-guessing is entertaining and it took them a long time before they reveal the fill-in boyfriend’s name!
The Fill-In Boyfriend is a light and easy read. I recommend this to teenagers who want to read something light and entertaining.
“Chin up. There are other fish in the sea. It’s a big ocean. Sometimes we need to catch and release a few before we find the keeper. Just keep swimming.”
“…revenge is the product of misdirected emotions”
“Tomorrow we are all going to be better people,”
“What is this addiction creating? And is it too late to undo the damage?”
“We rarely find depth by looking inside of ourselves for it. Depth is found in what we can learn from the people and things around us. Everyone, everything, has a story, Gia. When you learn those stories, you learn experiences that fill you up, that expand your understanding. You add layers to your soul.”
“Comparing yourself to others, the need for validation, it’s not good for our mental health.”