(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Harper Teen on May 5th 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA Romance
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.Amazon •
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.
“This is what it felt like to let someone in, I realized, and to really get to know them, to really let them know you. This is how it felt to genuinely like someone and to have him turn his back on you.”
Gia Montgomery is dumped by her college boyfriend, Bradley, in the parking lot at prom. Her main concern? That her friend will think he never existed. Gia spots a boy in his car and coheres him into being a fill-in-Bradley. She starts out sounding like a snobbish mean girl, but the more you learn about her family the more you come to understand her insecurities. As the book moves on Gia goes though major character development that brings her out of the world of high school drama and on the way to adulthood.
“Fill-in-Bradley” is a-hunk-in-geeks’-clothing (yay for Doctor Who T-shirts!), but of course he ends up having relationship issues of his own. He can only be described as adorable. Messy hair, glasses, and theatre geek with a protective little sister and trust issues. He’s all kinds of sweetness and doesn’t even realize it.
Bec is Fill-in-Bradley’s little sister. She’s way protective of her brother (for good reasons) and starts out hating Gia (again, for good reasons).
The romance is slow and sweet, and you don’t know when they really start to truly fall for each other until they do. It defiantly has sigh worthy moments mixed in among the drama.
Claire is Gia’s best friend and Jules is the mean girl of the book. Now this, dear readers, is what the book is really about. Gia has used Fill-in-Bradley to lie to her friends, but it started because her friends let Jules manipulate them into believe the real Bradley was a lie. This part of the story shows that sometimes we outgrow our friends and have to either go separate ways or wait for them to catch up. Oh the joys of high school drama!
Now on to the not-so-good parts. There’s a lot of back and forth between Fill-in-Bradley and Bradley, but we never really get to see the real Bradley’s personality. I don’t really know if he’s a good guy or a jerk because his character never had a chance to be played out even though he was brought back several times in the book and had ample opportunity to make a bigger presence.
I know Gia’s personality was affected by her parents and her need for validation, but sometimes the way she acted was more childish than a teen with issues. A middle schooler, perhaps? She just seemed all too doe-eyed innocent to be hanging around with Claire and Jules.
Overall, The Fill-In Boyfriend is a good light-romance that is great for anyone who is a fan of coming-of-age stories.