Why The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West made me want to scream- Book Review



The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 346

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.

Initial Thoughts

After reading (and really liking) P.S. I Like You by Kasie West, a lot of people recommended The Fill-In Boyfriend, claiming it was West’s best book. I went into this book expecting a fun, light, fuzzy read that would leave me feeling good.

In reality, there was a lot about this book that really annoyed me. I ended up really not enjoying it at all.

What I Liked

The synopsis. It was really interesting, and I have never read or heard about a book that is very similar.

The plot. Again, it was very original, and if I ignore all of the stuff that really annoyed me, this book was actually pretty great. I loved the plot and how the book ended.

The romance. It was cute. What can I say, I’m a sucker for cute romance.

What I Didn’t Like

JULES. AND THE REST OF GIA’S FRIENDS. I cannot tell you how middle-school-drama their whole relationship felt. It was quite frankly just ridiculous. It was so forced, and it was literally “my friends brought in a new girl to the friend group who thinks I’m the leader and now hates me for some unknown reason and wants to turn my friends against me.” GAHHHHHHH. And going off of that…

How immature all of the characters were. I have this problem with a lot of YA contemporaries, but it was particularly bad in this one. The characters literally acted like they were 12 half of the time, and they were supposed to be seniors in high school.

How the parents were portrayed. Gia’s parents were very one-dimensional and frustrating. I understand what West was going for with their characters, but they didn’t come off as human at all. They were more like forced stereotypes. Also “fill-in Bradley’s” (not gonna spoil his name!) mom was the “artsy-mom” stereotype and that annoyed me to no end as well. Also fill-in Bradley’s dad? Did I miss something? Because I don’t think he is mentioned at all.

All of the side characters. All of the characters. They were so one-dimensional it actually hurt. And don’t even get me started on Gia. She made me want to scream half of the time.


I can’t say I hated this book, but it was pretty bad. But bad more in the “stop being so moronic and act your age” way rather than “this book is literal trash” way.

I’m going to give The Fill-In Boyfriend 2 out of 5 hearts.


Talk to me

Have you read The Fill-In Boyfriend? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments!

21 thoughts on “Why The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West made me want to scream- Book Review

  1. I once asked for fake dating book t recommendations because that is one of my favourite tropes ever—if it’s done well. A lot of people recommended The Fill-In Boyfriend and I agree with you, the concept does sound really nice! However, I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews lately that have been saying the same things as you! I don’t like books where I can’t connect to the characters and I feel like that will be the case with this book so I think I’ll skip out on this one and look for other fake dating books! Great review though and thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really did love the idea of this book, and the story itself wasn’t bad. But the characters frustrated me to no end. If you do find any good fake-boyfriend books though, be sure to let me know! I’d love to read one that I actually like!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really was! I feel like there are so many better ways to have drama in a book. I do want to read some of West’s other books though, to see if I like any as much as P.S. I Like You or if I’m going to find the same problems with them.


  2. Hahaha I remember really liking this for some reason when I first read it, but everything you said here was so ON POINT. The characters were so immature and the portrayal of the parents was just exasperating ahah. Have you read the Lara Jean books/To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han? There’s the fake boyfriend aspect but the family dynamics and characters are a lot better. 😊 Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! ❤ I read the first Lara Jean book a few years ago and I remember loving it but I never read the rest of the series. I really want to start it over and read the whole thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I personally enjoyed all of Kasie West’s novels. However, I can see why you make those points. Don’t give up on Kasie though! The rest of her books are awesome—On The Fence being my personal favorite! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Book Review- By Your Side by Kasie West | Keystroke Blog

  5. Omg I agree with you so much here! But quite honestly, middle-school-drama is what Kasie West was actually going for so calling the characters immature is bit unfair, no? Because tbh, this is supposed to be a chick-lit and we all know how those high schoolers are portrayed as.
    Ahhh, no character is as frustrating as Jules. She is just too…unreal. Nobody is onto their friends like thaaaaaaaaatt.

    Liked by 1 person

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