The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West

published on May 5th 2015 by HarperTeen
young adult | contemporary | romance

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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.



*Minor spoilers, maybe.

The more I think about this book, the less I seem to like it. I’m completely bummed about that since The Fill-in Boyfriend was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015. You can’t see me, but I’m pouting right now.

The first issue I had with the book came in just within the first couple of pages. I know that we’re thrust into the book knowing that Fake Bradley will agree to the terms of being Gia’s fake boyfriend, but the way it was executed in the actual book made no sense. It was completely random and unconvincing.

And then, ta-da! The heroine is suddenly obsessed with seeing this boy again. Of course she is. She thinks about him 24/7, even going as far as to stalk his little sister. She even admits that what she’s doing is stalking, and she’s okay with it.

Stalking aside, Gia’s character was just generally petty and shallow. I could not connect to her at all. I know the feeling of a certain friend wanting to get you out of the picture. Really, I do. But please, handle your problems in a mature manner. I’m fifteen, and I talk things out with my friends if I feel like they’re doing something wrong. I don’t keep it a secret and lie to them.

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.

Other than that one piece of brilliant advice, Gia’s parents are also mostly just… there. They don’t have a strong, supportive presence. In fact, they were just like cardboard cut outs. They had no personality and were basically useless to the entire story, which is a shame since Kasie’s other books have amazing family dynamics.

Speaking of cardboard cut-outs, we also have Gia’s friends. They did have more prominent roles in the story compared to Gia’s parents, but their personalities were incredibly stereotypical. No one really stood out to me.

Let’s talk about Fake Bradley and the romance. With a heavy heart, I’m saying that The Fill-in Boyfriend did not give me any feels. At all. There was a lot of drama between these two by the last half of the book, and despite being a fan of angst, I just flinched instead. No flutters. No gigglesnorts. No swoons.

The only reason I’m not giving this book one star is because I appreciated how Gia’s problems with her friends were realistic. Like I said, I’ve experienced them myself. I just wished that they’d been handled better, and more maturely. And also because I really liked Bec, Fake Bradley’s sister, who was the hard-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside kind of girl.

Skulls 2

Book Porn

book edition: paperback

photos © Aimee (Deadly Darlings)
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About Aimee
Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.Goodreads | Twitter | Instagramall of Aimee’s posts →



61 thoughts on “Review: The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West

  1. Love the pictures! <3 <3 <3

    Awwww, what a shame you didn't like this one Aimee! I've read most of Kasie West's novels now (save for this one and Split Second, which I really HAVE been meaning to read…) and I've enjoyed them all. I haven't found they're drop-dead amazing or anything, but I've loved them enough to make me want to rad the rest in the series, you know? So in saying that, I'm still looking forward to see what I'll think of this one. Hopefully your next read will be better. Xx


    1. Thanks, Kara! :D I’ve read all of Kasie’s published books, actually. (Go read Split Second because it was FANTASTIC.) I enjoyed the others except this one, and The Distance which I thought was just okay. Hopefully you’ll like this more, Kara! :)


  2. This also is one of my most anticipated reads and I can’t wait to read it. It’s such a shame you didn’t like it as much as you expected too. I really hate when that happens. I adored On the Fence which was my first of her books so I am still eagerly awaiting my copy. :) Lovely honest review. :)


  3. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one! I’ve read mixed reviews about this one, mostly because the main characters, Gia. This book is also one of my most anticipated books, so I’m hoping that I will enjoy this one :D

    Anyway, great review, and I love the pict! <33


  4. I think Bec was my favorite character in this book. Gia and her friends got on my nerves, and the romance didn’t make me swoon at all. As a lover of all of Kasie West’s other books, I was really disappointed in this one.


  5. When I first saw the premise for this book I already was unsure whether I would read it or not. To me the whole idea seemed a bit cheesy, especially with the “night of high school prom” bit thrown in. I was still in a half-and-half situation, but now I’m pretty sure I’m not going to read The Fill-In Boyfriend. Like you were saying, making up a ton of random lies doesn’t solve problems at all- it just worsens them. I’m not sure I’d be sold on the background of this one. I enjoyed your review, though!:)


    1. The whole thing did sound cheesy, but I was hoping that Kasie West would do something to make it unique… Alas, that wasn’t the case. Thanks so much, Claire!


  6. Sounds like something that I would throw out of the window :P Heck, execution of such plot should at least be almost flawless for it to work. I don’t think I could ever have someone to be a pretend-boyfriend. The web of lies would keep getting bigger and it would be so hard to manage.


  7. I have a feeling I’ll feel the same way about this book. I mean, after all the hullabaloo of its pending release, it’s like that new Emery Lord book. It was just meh.


  8. Aw Aimee! I think this is the first negative review i’ve seen for this book but reading your review i feel like i’d have a lot fo the same issues I did and i’m wondering if maybe others did but their love for West’s work blinded them (it’s possible!). i don’t know if this one for me but i do hope your next read is more enjoyable!


  9. I have seen a lot of love for this one so I am *kind of* surprised. It sounds super cute, which isn’t my cup of tea – so I am staying far away HAHA bummer you didn’t like it though!


  10. Ah no, I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you. I hate it when stalking is portrayed as okay, especially when it’s girls, because its somehow seen as less creepy than when dudes do it. Just not cool at all.


  11. Aw it sucks that you didn’t like this! I was also anticipating it but I think I’ll hold it off for now…I wasn’t a fan of The Distance Between Us (which was okay but idk there was something missing) so I probably won’t work with this.

    That “stalk his little sister” part though 0_o if she was a boy then everyone would call her out on this behavior but I’m glad you noticed it. Stalking is just *shivers* creepy no matter who is stalking you.


  12. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to enjoy this one more Aimee, the way things went about early on was a bit unbelievable and ugh don’t even get me started on Gia’s parents, they were the worst ever! Thank you for the honest review though, I do hope your next read by West is a lot more enjoyable!


  13. Aw, I’m sorry that this wasn’t the best read for you! Alongside West’s Split Second, THIS IS WHAT I MUST BUY ASAP. Though, I must say that I’m not a fan of randomness, either, so I have a feeling that it’ll go either way for me. The concept does sound a little absurd, hmmph. Lovely review, girly! <33


  14. Bummer, Aimee! I think the “fake boyfriend” plot line has been over done and if it’s a poor take on an overused plot, that’s even worse. I’m not a fan of angst, so this wouldn’t have worked for me. Great honest review. I hope your next book is a win! :)


  15. This is so sad to hear! I still haven’t read any Kaisie West, but I’m on the request list for this one at the library because everyone has talked about how cute it is. I think I’m probably going to have a problem with the shallowness, too. SIGH. LOUD SIGH. I JUST WANT CUTE CONTEMPS. Sorry you didn’t like this one!


  16. Such a shame you didn’t like this one! Despite not having high hopes for her other books, I really enjoyed them so I guess I thought this one would be pretty good. But the whole premise of the book does sound a wee bit typical. Characters usually make a book for me, so to hear that almost no one stood out for you and that in fact most of the characters were boring is such a disappointment! Great review, I think I might save myself the bother and skip over this one! P.S. — Love the book porn! :D Is it a regular part of your reviews now?


  17. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one! I totally understand the feeling when one of your favourite authors’ books doesn’t live up to your expectations. But hey, there are more opportunities for a new favourite book by this author out there in the future. (Which is my cue to read Kasie West’s books pronto)


    1. Yes! I’ve already added her upcoming books to my TBR, haha! You should definitely start with either Pivot Point or On the Fence–loved those! <3


  18. You know, I actually DNF On The Fence, but I loved the Fill in Boyfriend lol xD The heroine is shallow and petty in the beginning, she made some immature mistakes, but I do believe she did learn from them ultimately. I hated the parents as well, maybe her next book will be better for you. Thanks for the awesome review as always :)


  19. Oh no!! I was so excited for this book. I love West’s The Distance Between Us. I’m sad to hear this one is really unrealistic and that the protagonist is not so good. Lovely review, and whoa for the book porn section! HOW DO YOU TAKE SUCH PRETTY PICTURES? Seriously, girl. I need to learn ;)


  20. Aimee, I love the fact that you talk out issues with your friends if you think they’re doing something wrong, good on you lovely! On the other hand, such a shame you didn’t enjoy this book! Gia’s stalking behaviour is always a bit scary to see lol. Lovely review!


  21. I didn’t like On the Fence and I’m a little afraid to read this one now. Initially, I didn’t have a very good gut feeling with it (I have this thing where I subconciously avoid reading a book because I don’t think I’ll like it) and I’m only able to suspend my belief a certain amount. I might just skip over this one. Great review though!


  22. Sad to hear you didn’t like this one Aimee! I am *yet* to read a Kasie West novel (thought Pivot Point has been sitting on my shelf for goodness knows how long). It’s always a shame when the characters just seem like they have the same personality span as a piece of cardboard, hopefully another book from this author is something you’ll like better. Thanks for the honest review :)


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