(You all have seen this before, so skip it if you want 🙂 )
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.
Okay, I have to be honest. I think my expectations went a little too high on this one. Of course, I love her other books, and I did hype this one up to myself, but I didn’t think I could possibly ever be disappointed. Well, I was. Just a little bit, but I was.
The characters really didn’t make me swoon as much as, say, The Distance Between Us did. I thought there was a lot of potential for something really great to happen with this one, and I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters. That being said, it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. It was a perfectly adorable fluff read, with surprisingly more substance than I’ve come to expect from Ms. West’s books.
The substance came from Gia’s brother and his observations. This book really helped make the point that our generation is one where validation can only come through ‘likes’ on Facebook or Instagram, and how this tech generation is becoming one where, if you don’t get enough likes or favorites or retweets, it must not be important.
I could have done without Gia’s friend drama, though. I understand that it was supposed to make another point, that sometimes the friends you have are not the best for you, but their dynamic really got on my nerves. Especially with Claire and Jules- that seemed really unnecessary, and I think that leaving that out would have enriched the story- or resolving it, for that matter! West just kind of leaves it in limbo, with you not knowing whether Gia and Claire are still friends or still going to room together or what, and I don’t like having that hanging over my head. I like everything to be resolved and tied up in a neat little bow, and I didn’t feel like that with The Fill-In Boyfriend. The Distance Between Us will remain my favorite West novel.
WHAT TO WATCH:
One thing I love about West’s books is that they’re all squeaky clean. She knows how to write a book without swearing, sex, drugs, violence, or magic, and it’s always a relief to know that I can pick up one of her books without worrying that I’m going to have to put it down a few chapters in.
The Fill-In Boyfriend is no exception. It’s clean, fun reading, and despite my hang-ups about conflict resolution and annoying secondary characters, I enjoyed it, and I’m excited for her next book, whatever it may be.
Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!