Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ I’ve read most of Kasie West’s books now, and I’ve met her (she’s adorable yet cool, which is a tough combo to attain), but so far, this book is my favorite of hers.
~ It starts out with Gia getting dumped by her college boyfriend in the parking lot of where her high school prom is being held. Which is a douche move, but I can’t say that I fault him 100%, since Gia is more about showing him off to her friends (since new friend Jules cast doubts as to whether or not Bradley exists) than she seems to care for him. But still, dumping her in the parking lot and then leaving her there is cold. I would have clawed his eyes out or chopped off an appendage as proof of his existence. Then I’d call the ambulance after I showed my friends.
~ It says something about Gia, and her friendships, that instead of telling her friends she got dumped, she instead approaches a strange boy in the parking lot to play Bradley.
~ It takes awhile to get Fill In Boyfriend’s name, so in my notes, I called him Fib, which cracked me up (and I admit I thought I was clever, until Fib pointed out the same fact to Gia). If you don’t want to be spoiled by his name, then probably stop reading RIGHT NOW.
~ His name is Hayden. Isn’t that a cute name? He also nicknamed Bradley as Captain America, which is far better than Bradley (it also bothers me that he goes by his formal name, rather than Brad).
~ Hayden has a very protective little sister, Bec, who is not a fan of Gia and her group. She has reasons, and they are good. But luckily for Gia, and us and Hayden, Bec hates Hayden’s ex even more.
~ The whole storyline with Jules made me sick to my stomach because I hated how she treated Gia. But I did feel sorry for her, simply because she was so miserable and conniving and sneaky so obviously she needs to be buried in a pile of cute kittens until she stops being an asshat. Which didn’t happen. And part of me starting hoping that it would happen, but that it would turn out that she was deathly allergic to kitten fur, and by the time people realized she was in distress it would be too late. In her memory though, all of her high school peers could adopt one of the kittens and keep cat play dates even as they went off to college and work, thus insuring that their graduating class stayed in touch. Wouldn’t that be lovely? (haha, my very last note on this book is “May have to write some fan fiction, just so I can kill off Jules.” I guess I just kind of did. You’re welcome in advance.).
~ I did not like Gia’s friends, seriously what kind of friend would even care if you DID make up a fake boyfriend? Fake boyfriends are kind of like book boyfriends- better than most real boyfriends. Fake boyfriends do what you want them to and always let you have the best slice of pizza or think your ass really does look fine in those sweatpants. Fake boyfriends break up with you just in time for you to date a real boyfriend, who will ultimately turn out to be less romantic than your fake boyfriend (fake boyfriends are always super romantic).
~ As much as I really enjoyed Gia and Hadley, and watching them both get better, Bec kind of stole the show. Bec is all kinds of sassy. If you have a choice between having one friend like Bec or three friends like Jules, Laney and Claire, choose Bec. You will be a better person for it, buy maybe less Tumblr followers.
~ What I love about Kasie West’s contemporary romances is that the main characters have more than romance on their minds. Gia is dealing with becoming self-aware for the first time, and realizing that her family is not as solid and perfect as she always thought (and that her brother is kind of a jerk). Hayden has to overcome the apron strings that his poisonous ex still has him tied too (seriously, he’s almost too good of a guy).
~ There’s a scene that I loved, and it reminded me of the movie Drive Me Crazy when Nicole points out that Chase and his friends make fun of her and her friends. Basically the unpopular kids are mocking the popular kids, which is somehow more okay than the other way around. I like that the hypocrisy of it gets pointed out, well, not like out loud, but just acknowledged. It can be a vicious circle.
~ There’s a moment where Drew refers to Bec as “Gone Girl” which cracked me up so hard that it was a good thing I wasn’t drinking anything at the moment, because I would have snorted all over the book.
~ Hayden and Bec have a great relationship, and their whole family is kind of warm and close and I want to join it.
~ You know you connect well with a character when you get that dreadball feeling in your stomach when you know they have to go through some bad shiz to get to the good shiz, but you wish you could spare them the pain.
~ I already want to re-read this book, and it’s not even out yet. 😉
Gia- popular senior with her future mapped out, until a frenemy starts to mess with her head and her social standing.
Hayden- all around nice guy and prime fill in boyfriend material.
Bec- Hayden’s little sister, opinionated and brave and kind of a pain in the ass (in a good way).
Bradley- dumps Gia in a parking lot and doesn’t really deserve to be on this list, the only thing timeless about him is his jackass-edness.
Claire- Gia’s best friend and future college roommate.
Laney- another friend of Gia’s, kind of snobby.
Jules- SHE-DEVIL. *hisssssssss*
Drew- Gia’s older brother, goes to school with Bradley, and makes films.
Eve- Hayden’s ex, a minor she-devil.
Logan- Hayden’s ex-bestie.
Spencer- a long time friend of Hayden’s.
Oliva- Hayden and Bec’s cool hippy mom.
Nate- friend of Bec’s, is in a band.
Will- old and cranky, but rents out his junkyard for ball therapy. I could use a Will in my life.
I wrote down seven different Midnight Moments, because the book was that good that I can’t pick just one stand out moment. So I’ll go with these: all the biggest buildups, the scene on the beach, the scene right after the scene on the beach when Gia has that moment with her dad and I was all weepy baby, Bec’s cell phone ninja skills, and Jules making me think she had a heart (but nope, just pure she-devil evil pumping that blood).
Stop the Clock:
I honestly don’t know why you’re still reading this review, you should be online pre-ordering this book. What? You said you don’t like contemporary romance? What, you don’t like great writing, excellent character development and piles of kittens killing a high school frenemy? Yeah, so what if I made up that last bit, the first two were legit reasons. Basically, if you like books and books with romance and books by kick ass female authors than you should totally read this book.
Fill In Boyfriend gets a Midnight Book rating of: