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Journey of Self-Discovery | Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

What I’m about to say about The Fill-In Boyfriend is seriously killing me…

Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

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the fill-in boyfriend kasie west book review

Title & Author: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: May 5, 2014

Series: Standalone

Publisher: HarperTeen

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

It Had to Happen Sometime…

Having read and loved every single one of Kasie West’s books, I was afraid this would happen one day.

And it has. The Fill-In Boyfriend was good but not great.

Before reading my review, definitely take into account that I’m a huge fan so my expectations were VERY high. That 100 percent affected my opinion of the book.

The premise of the book is pretty straightforward and begins right in the action. Gia is a pretty, popular girl who is excited to finally show off her college-aged boyfriend at prom. The problem is…right before she walks in with her cutie on her arm…he dumps her. Refusing to face her friends without the boy she’s talked up for ages, Gia finds a boy to do the job instead.

The Fill-In Boyfriend is for sure a lot of fun. I mean, it involves huge secrets and accidental romance – you can’t go wrong with that.

This is definitely a fun contemporary novel, but compared to West’s other work, I don’t think it meets the same standard.

What I love about all of her stories are that there’s this raw, hidden depth. When you’ve finished reading, you feel like you’ve been through something with the characters and come out the other side with them.

With The Fill-In Boyfriend, I felt removed and distanced from Gia and her growth. This I think is due to two main things:

1. Gia and her friends are not likable at times. This is different for West, as all of her characters so far – to me – have been so adorable and relatable.

2. The ending does not offer full resolution. There are a few unanswered questions at the end of the book. There’s a great deal of tension throughout the story, and I would have definitely preferred an ending with more resolution. I definitely understand the literary choices made, but there were so many things left open-ended and I was dying for more closure.

I will say – The Fill-In Boyfriend focuses on seeing flaws and becoming a better person. Gia sees herself in a new light, and does make slow but steady changes for the better.


Due to high expectations on my part and a general lack of connection with the characters, The Fill-In Boyfriend unfortunately did not measure up to West’s previous books. I’m still a huge fan of hers and will continue reading anything she writes.

The Fill-In Boyfriend lacks the depth of West’s previous contemporaries, but I do think fans of hers will enjoy this book’s humor and journey of self-discovery.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • I’m bummed that you didn’t love this one. I really did enjoy it, though like you I wasn’t completely satisfied with ending.

  • I haven’t read any Kasie West book yet (I know, what Am I waiting for?!) but I’m sorry this was not up to standards for you 🙁
    It happened to me with Colleen Hoover, I’ve read and loved all her books but Ugly love.. I don’t know, I just didn’t click with it 🙁
    Anyway, what would you recommend me to start with? She has written many books!

  • Emma

    I just finished reading this book and I know what you mean about the ending.Als it wasn’t released in 2014