Kasie west is by far one of my favourite contemporary authors. While the fill-in boyfriend was not my favourite book by her (nothing can beat ‘On the Fence’). The Fill in Boyfriend provided all the delightful entertainment and mishaps I was hoping for.
When Gia’s College boyfriend Bradley dumps her outside the doors of her senior high school prom, she’s at a loss. All her friends were expecting to meet him, some even doubting his existence at all. So walking in empty handed is out of the question. Enter Fill-in Bradley who is minding his own business after dropping off his younger sister to the prom. Suddenly he’s swept into a blur of lies and pretending to be Gia’s boyfriend for the night. But will their whirlwind end after just one night….not likely.
Gia is a hard character to like at the start, she places far too much importance on what her friends think. Even going to the extent of ‘hiring’ a guy to be her prom date for the evening in an effort to save face. (The irony being that she was dumped for the exact reason that she cared too much about her friends opinion). Personally, I feel like real friendship shouldn’t be based on such superficial elements. But that is what makes this book so good. Gia starts to realise this, her character grows and so in turn dawns the realization that she may have outgrown her friends.
Of course, there is also the light romance between the two protagonists to look forward to. With Gia being instigated to repay the favour of pretend girlfriend for the evening when Fill in Bradley is invited to his ex’s party.
Fill in Bradley was the perfect mix of sweet and funny. Not only is he willing to help a girl in need out on prom night, little questions asked. But when you find out his back story, you wonder how a guy can be so nice after the shit he’s been through.
Romance aside, this story has a lot of good messages around friendships and growing up. Learning to be happy with who you are is probably the one thing that most people struggle with growing up, usually seeking the acceptance and approval of others as a way of self-validation… Even in my 20’s I’m still learning this lesson.