Author: Kasie West
Published: Published May 5th 2015 by HarperTeen
Number of pages: Paperback, 343 pages
My rating: (2.7 stars ✨)
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, expo.sing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
This book brings forth many different lessons in a relatable and fun way. Lessons like knowing who your real friends are and the importance of not just being remembered as a good, kind person but remembering others. Kasie West tells a brilliant coming of age story and I will be totally honest I enjoyed it but there were major flaws.
I loved following Gia, the main character, and watching all her escapades, watching her grow as a person. Gia is initially presented as a snob, a brat and a very (in the words of her older brother Drew) amoral person. However one of the amazing things about Gia as a character is she is very complex. Gia is kind yet unkind, selfish yet caring. She has so many sides it’s dizzying but mostly she is just a good person trying to be better and I liked her character as a whole.
Gia is student body president, holder of a UCLA scholarship and undoubtedly the most popular girl in school. That all sounds wonderful but Gia few months to graduation, felt she really hadn’t achieved much and wasn’t the person she wanted to be, understandably.
What caused the sudden journey of change? Gia’s boyfriend Bradley breaks up with her before prom. In. The. Parking. Lot. Gia left with no other options begs (grovels) for the help of a total stranger. She asks him to be her fill-in boyfriend. The crazy part is he says yes. That is where the story really begins.
Laughable, I know but that is really the plot. Don’t tell me you can’t already spot the plot holes. I am a very realistic person (mostly) which is why the plot holes really bothered me and there were a lot. The drama formed was petty and juvenile. Kasie west was really grasping for straws with this one because the plot was really unrealistic and really far-fetched in my opinion and it made me not take any other aspect of the book seriously. There were also a lot of plot devices which made for a stiff read. The plot was so complicated and absurd that many things had to be out-rightly explained in dialogue.
All that leads to a lack of flow at times. Yet, Kasie west manages to keep me completely hooked with her writing style and I couldn’t stop reading, I was addicted. Yes, the dialogue was stiff at times and some chapters did drag on but I kept reading. The book overall definitely had a good tone. The author is clearly a competent writer.
The stiff and unrealistic dialogue can also be said to be caused by the unrealistic, underdeveloped characters who were mostly all YA tropes. We only scratched the surface of most of the characters. They were one dimensional and their petty, immature front became irritating. Everything from the fact that they were mostly all judgemental, self righteous and shallow really contributed to my strong dislike of the characters. A I said I did grow fond of Gia as her character was handled really well.
I don’t know exactly why I couldn’t put the book down but safe to say it wasn’t the romance that kept me reading.
The romance, in my opinion was very sudden and very confusing. The whole situation made for a very weird relationship dynamic. Gia after the prom had fallen so hard but I didn’t understand why. A few measly hours together and she couldn’t stop thinking about him? Am I meant to ship it? I was given nothing to work with. Nothing that made me think, yes they’ll be cute together.
There was so many things that could have gone wrong and so much risk and I was just thinking is he worth it? There were also a lot of teases which really irked me, did I mention it was confusing? Because it was. I do recognise that Kasie west tried to show that they were close and they had bonded and there were clearly moments that were made to show that they were ‘bonding’ but it felt too forced and weird. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again stiff dialogue. At times I will admit, they were cute but not enough that I believe they are OTP.
With such a messy plot it’s no wonder the ending was kind of a disaster. I am not at all satisfied with the ending. There were a lot unanswered questions and I’ll never get my answers. I don’t feel Gia’s journey of self discovery was over.
This is just a cute book. Yes, it is flawed and unoriginal but it is a fun read (at times) and when you start you won’t be able to put it down. This book isn’t exctly life changing but it has great lessons overall.