The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Okay so let’s start with a disclaimer: “Hey pretend to me my boyfriend for just a sec” is one of my favorite tropes and I was really really wanting a dumb, super cheesy, super cliché book to read so that’s why the rating is four because I got what I came for, okay?
Now that we have that out of the way, because I was hoping for this exact story (I mean after reading a book that made me sad and a book that made me angry, I just really wanted something that I could just laugh at) I really enjoyed it. It was like watching a rom-com that you and your friends would watch really late at night just to commentate on. Pure entertainment!
So this book is about a high school senior (Goodness, was I that immature in high school?) who gets dumped literally right before entering her prom. So naturally (as one would totally do in this situation) she gets someone to pretend to be her boyfriend because high school is all about status and she woudn’t want that to be ruined.
Anyway, she later has to return the favor to her fill-in, and voila! Cheesy romance ensues! I was surprised there was actually more to the story than just the super cheesy romance, so that was interesting. The normal high school problems (fitting in, realizing you aren’t being yourself, bullying, social media) are hit on pretty well, especially because I’m assuming younger readers would definitely be reading this and I’m sure there were some parts that were actually pretty relevant to today’s society. It was cool to see this whole subject of seeking validation from strangers on the internet (Instagram, twitter, etc) and how that affects behavior. Hadn’t really expected that from this book and for the young people reading it, I feel like it was a good message.
As for the characters, there was nothing really special about any of them, so I’m not going to comment about it. They were generic/classic characters that you can see in countless middle-grade (???) books. They have their very obvious flaws and some good characteristics, and the side characters are really flat so… nothing special.
I would only recommend this to my friends if they’re looking for something incredibly cheesy and wanting to kill some time. If you like incredibly cheesy rom-coms then this would be a fun and SUPER QUICK read.