Buy links: Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Genre: YA | Contemporary Romance
Read Count: 1
Motivation: TBR Twins with Kristin
Published: May 15th, 2015
Pages: 344 pages
Source: My shelves
Average Rating: 3.92 stars
Kasie West is, for sure, the Queen of Adorable Comfort reads. Her books inspire many “awwwws” and swoon smiles, but I love her more for her lighthearted, yet deep and meaningful stories and characters that I want in my life.
The Fill-In Boyfriend was both exactly what I expected, and a complete surprise.
But before we get into that, let’s talk about Kasie West. Kasie West is the Queen of Comfort Reads. With her Distance Between Us, On the Fence and now The Fill-In Boyfriend, her books screams “comfort,” and all highlight teenage troubles–especially those of a teenage girl. I love how Kasie can highlight such abhorrent truths about growing up and life, while still having it be a lighthearted read. But it’s not, because once you analyze it further, it’s a novel chock-full of knowledge and pain and hope—one that any teenage girl can take comfort in.
The Fill-In Boyfriend was my March TBR Twins Buddy Read Book, and my reading buddy for this month. Kristin and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! We both devoured it the first day we picked it up and discussed it far into the week, and there were not a small amount of exclamation points.
I’ve come to expect a certain degree of writing from Kasie West, and The Fill-In Boyfriend certainly met all those requirements, but this was somehow something deeper.
Our main character, Gia, got a lot of complaints from fellow readers. “Annoying” and “immature” were among the adjectives used to describe her, and they thought her situation was “completely avoidable”. They’re right. Gia is supposed to represent the average teenage girl, and this includes a growth of maturity. In the beginning, I was nervous about her. She seemed shallow, and unlikable, but as we grew with Gia throughout the novel, I learned that she was just scared and afraid. The maturity that Gia underwent throughout the novel had me smiling, and I was happy that Kasie West didn’t tie the ending with a bow, with Gia and her friends.
Gia is a character that everyone can relate to, whether you want to admit it or not. It’s time for Gia to break away from the sewage surrounding her family and discover who she is, not hide behind that sewage and let her friends drag her around–and, of course, discover who her friends really are.
I know what you’re thinking. “Wow, Kat, you mean like every cliche YA-contemporary-female-teen-in-high-school-read there is?” You may not actually sound as nasally as I’m picturing you do in my head, but the answer is no.
Kasie West showed this in a really unique way, especially with her home life. It’s by no means an abusive one, but it’s damaging, nonetheless. Kasie West portrayed the “dysfunctional family” in a new way that I really appreciated, because it’s a very real problem, too.
And the characters. : )
Hayden, the love interest, was pretty sweet. But Bec, his sister, was by far my favorite character. I loved their family, too, and how much they were complete opposites of Gia’s, and their unwavering support of Gia. Friends like Bec and Hayden will put you on top of the world, and I thought they were perfect. Bec completely MADE the book. Go Bec, and go baseballs.
Guest review contributed by Book Whore. This book blogger doesn’t go anywhere without a book and doesn’t leave the library without another dozen.