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review 2017-03-29 05:04
The Fill-In Boyfriend
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

I absolutely love stories where two people pretend to be in a relationship and then fall for each other later, so I was set to love this before I even began, and it did not disappoint. When Gia is dumped in the parking lot on prom night just before she was finally about to introduce her boyfriend to her friends, she panics and convinces a guy in the parking lot to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. Gia plans on never seeing him again, but that doesn't quite work out.

 

The two of them are adorable together. Their banter had me smiling whenever they started up. Watching them go from complete strangers who were pretending to be in love to actually falling for one another was fun. There's just something about two people faking intimacy until it becomes real that never gets old for me.

 

Gia does a lot of growing during the course of the story as she realizes that she can be pretty shallow at times with the help of her brother and the fake boyfriend's sister. She cares too much at times about what people think about her and keeps people at a bit of a distance. Of course, it's not hard to see where she learned that behavior from when we see her family. Her parents are not the best at communicating and seem to care more about appearing to be perfect.

 

In comparison, the fake boyfriend's family is great. I loved Gia's interactions with the fake boyfriend's mom and sister. They were all just so sweet and had some excellent banter.

 

The weak element of the book for me was Gia's relationship with her friends. One of the girls, Jules, is not so subtly trying to steal Gia's friends from her by continually insisting Gia is lying about things or lying herself about Gia. It was just a bit over the top for me. And one of the lies Jules told was so easy to prove that I was surprised Gia didn't think of it. Jules tells her friends that Gia didn't call her to invite her over when Gia had done exactly that. If I had been Gia, I would have pulled up my phone's call history which would show that Gia made the call and that she and Jules had spoken. And since Jules lie was that Gia didn't call at all, that would have solved that problem. Jules gets some develop later on to give some insight into why she's doing this, but I just didn't like that particular plot too much. Even though it is the whole reason the fake relationship got started in the first place. So it wasn't useless. Just not my favorite part of the book.

 

Books with fake relationship plots are generally a bit ridiculous in premise, but that doesn't stop me from adoring them anyways. This one was a ton of fun with a cute relationship, funny banter, and some great side characters.

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review 2017-03-29 04:53
The Fill-in Boyfriend (Review)
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

When I first read this in 2015, it was the only book I gave five stars that year. Admittedly, I wasn’t reading as much as I would have liked, and I’ve been in a hardcore reading slump since then, but still—one five star book is a little disappointing. I never wrote the review because things got in the way and I didn’t make time, but as I started looking back on my experience with this book, I started to worry that maybe I didn’t like it as much as I’d remembered. Maybe it was just the kind of book I needed at the time. Maybe it wasn’t all that great after all, and I was looking at it through rose-colored lenses.

 

That worry resulted in me picking it up again today to see how I really felt about it. And guess what? I loved it just as much as I did the first time! I read it (again) in one sitting, and I fell in love (again) with the characters and their stories. This is my first encounter with Kasie West, and I’d always been meaning to read so many of her books, but The Fill-in Boyfriend really sold me on absolutely everything. It is the perfect summer read—heck, it’s the perfect it’s-still-winter-even-though-it-should-be-spring-now read, too. It is the perfect chick-lit romance without shoving insta-love or cheesiness down your throat. I highly, highly, highly recommend it, and I’m so grateful that it will always be on my shelf for those days when I just need to escape reality and dive into something satisfying.

 

What I Liked: Spoilers!

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review 2016-06-14 08:32
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

I must admit, the title got me into reading this….well plus that cute book cover.

Honestly, I think the story isn’t that original nowadays. Since a lot of books, even TV series/dramas already had the same plot “pretend boyfriend or girlfriend” thing. But that didn’t stop me being interested in reading this.

Though the synopsis pretty much told what this book was about, I think there’s actually more from it. This book wasn’t really all about the fill-in bf. This book was more about Gia, the heroine, president of the student council, and one of the popular girls at their school. This also showed us how Gia’s character developed. Her relationship with her family, boyfriend, friends and the people around her made her question and realized what kind of person she really was. I wasn’t really a popular student back then but I could totally relate to some of Gia’s situation.

Then her lying from the very beginning was what made her life miserable. I found these quotes applicable in Gia’s predicament in the entire book:

“Tell the truth, or someone will tell it for you.”

“Lies are temporary solution to a permanent problem.”

“Tell a lie once and all your truths become questionable.”

This book also discussed a bit of pros and cons of Social Medias, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that most teenagers found addicting nowadays.

As for the fill-in boyfriend, Hayden (well if that spoiled you, SORRY MY BAD), at the end of the book I could say that I still didn’t know him well. I only get to know him from Gia’s POV, and I wanted to know more about him.

I liked Hayden’s family. They were open and expressive about their feelings. Bec, Hayden’s sister, and Gia’s classmate in Government, was a fun character too. I found her real and I liked her attitude. Then their mother Olivia was such an interesting mother. She’s such a cool mom and someone you could ask for wonderful insights in life.

But aside from that, I think there were more annoying characters in this book than the characters I found interesting. Both MC’s had so called “friends” that brought me a strong urge to strangle. Yes, they were toxic. They were the kind of friends that you would not regret losing. This made me want to share some quotes about true friendship:

“ It is better to have an ENEMY who honestly says they hate you than to have a FRIEND who’s putting you down SECRETLY.”

“ True Friends look at you with no judgment in their eyes, they know you’ve made mistakes but they accept you for being human and help you right the wrongs. “

“ Being Honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones. “
“ Fake Friends believe in rumors, Real Friends believe in you.”

All in all, I could say that I liked the author’s writing style. I’m definitely looking forward to reading her other books. This book was such an easy and cute contemporary romance read. Just in time to keep my reading streak after reading a high fantasy book. So check this book out!

#My first read of Kasie West and it’s really cool

#I could go on and on with the quotes that fit the story of this book

#Fear is what pushes people to lie

#You don’t need a certain number of friends. You just need a number of friends you can be certain of.

#sorry couldn’t stop myself with the quotes

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review 2016-04-26 16:39
My first time reading a Kasie West book
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

3.75


This is my first time reading a Kasie West book and it was definitely an adorable read.
I finished up the entire book in no time. It was very easy to fly through, it was sweet and enjoyable.

I like how the story turned to be a bit bigger than just a simple romance book and though it is hard for me to relate to it now, I guess a lot of teenagers would find themselves connected to some valuable topic discussed in this book.

 


I liked to see Gia experiences change and personal growth. I liked the way she learned how to cope with things and how she started to notice all the difference between her representation of the world and the people around her and the reality.  
I like the way how all the characters in this book reflected  and finally "shaped" Gia. It was done very nicely.
Overall, this was a very good book and it gave me a green light to start reading other Kasie West novels!

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review 2016-02-14 00:00
The Fill-In Boyfriend
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West,Shann... The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West,Shannon McManus This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

This book made me feel incredibly old. I read a lot of YA books. I have a teenager and we like to talk about books every once in a while. I have seen this book floating around internet and thought it would be one that I would enjoy. I think that the target audience for this book would really enjoy. My daughter would most likely love it. I thought it was okay but during much of the story I kept wondering why anyone would do the things they were doing.

Gia is dumped by her boyfriend, Bradley, in the parking lot as they are going into her senior prom. She is able to talk another boy waiting in his car to fill-in for Bradley and take her to the prom. She doesn't want her friends to know that she was dumped because she thinks that they may just think she made Bradley up completely. Things take off from there and the pair develop a nice friendship that could lead to more.

I couldn't help but wondering why it was so important what Gia's friends thought since she is only weeks away from graduating. I do remember how important my friends were at that age but as an old lady I know that she will not see most of those people again except for on Facebook. Most of the problems in this book could just be solved if she quit worrying about what everyone else thinks.

There were some cute moments in the book. The fill-in was adorable at the prom and I loved Beck and the rest of his family. Gia's family was a nightmare in that perfect Barbie sort of way. The friends that Gia was trying so hard to impress were very hard to like. The time spent with the fill-in and his family really made up for most of the negatives. He was just such a nice guy.

I like the narrator quite a bit. Shannon McManus capture Gia perfectly. I thought she did a great job with all of the voices but she really became Gia. The pacing of her reading was nicely done and I think she captured the emotions of the characters very well. It was a pleasant listening experience and I would certainly listen to her work again.

I would recommend this book to others. I think that teenagers and young adults will really enjoy it. This is the first book by Kasie West that I have had a chance to read but I would pick up more of her work in the future.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media - Ideal Audiobooks for the purpose of providing an honest review.

Initial Thoughts
This is one of those books that make me feel extremely old. I am definitely not the target market for this one but it was cute for what it was.
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