The Fill-In Boyfriend: A YA Novel That Brings Back Memories

The Fill In Boyfriend with First Line of Novel

Who among us hasn’t had a fake Significant Other at some point in our lives?

Or at least thought about it. 😉

My freshman year of college, I told two friends about an unwanted, frustratingly persistent suitor of mine, and they each offered to help.

The first one—let’s call him Marshall—said, “I can pretend to be your brother and tell him to leave you the hell alone.”

The second, named Elliot, replied, “Her brother? You two look nothing alike.”

“Well, adopted or step-brother,” Marshall clarified.

Elliot laughed. “It makes more sense to pretend to be her boyfriend. I’ll do it. Then that guy will get the picture.”

I thanked them for their suggestions, but took care of Mr. Suitor in my own way, which basically involved avoiding him until I actually had a boyfriend a few months later.**

That guy, the real boyfriend, turned out to be Marshall—or, as he’s better known around this part of the Internet, Mr. AMB. Thankfully, I never tried to pass him off as my sibling. That would’ve been an uncomfortable lie to explain away.

These were the memories that came to mind as I read Kasie West’s latest Young Adult novel, The Fill-In Boyfriend. In this story, 17-year-old Gia Montgomery needs a date after her boyfriend of two months dumps her in the parking lot outside of the prom. She approaches the first guy she sees and begs him to pretend to be her boyfriend. He agrees. The ending is obvious, Gia and the “fill-in” boyfriend get together eventually, but how they get there is fun to witness.

The main characters are likeable, the story is cute, and the writing is funny and fast-paced. It’s ideal for both younger readers who may see a part of themselves in Gia and for older folks (like me) who are looking for an entertaining escape from adult life.

I am grateful to Stephanie from Stephanie’s Book Reviews for recommending this novel. It was as much fun as she said it would be.


*I ran this post by Mr. AMB to make sure he didn’t mind if I shared this story from our past. He was fine with it, but wanted to add: “In my defense, I wasn’t bold enough to offer to pretend to play the role I wanted to have. Besides, what better way to attract a bookish girl than to be painfully awkward and shy? That method worked just fine for Mr. Darcy.”

**I wasn’t allowed to date–I was raised in a pretty strict household–but my parents ended up liking him. Phew.


  1. very cute story, liked the segway from what happened in your past, to the basis of the storyline of this book. I too have had my fair share of unwanted suitors in my school days, having that friend there to help you get out of an awkward situation is always a plus!

  2. Mr. A.M.B. is awesome. 🙂 I love this story. I don’t know that this is a book I would pick up to read, but I’d probably watch the movie version if ever one was made.

    1. Thank you! The Fill-In Boyfriend isn’t the type of novel I typically read (though I do like lighter fiction), but I really enjoyed it. It was the escape from reality I needed.

      I hope Mouse is feeling better!

  3. Your S.O. is adorable! That’s such a cute story leading up to your relationship. It’d be a cute basis for a YA novel. I know there are about a million books based on those tropes, but somehow they never get old. At least to me.

  4. I’m so glad you liked this! And how adorable is your story! It involves a mention of fake relationship and the Friends to More tropes. I would totally read that book. And your husband is adorable.

    1. Thanks, Stephanie, both for the kind words about my husband (who really is adorable, if I do say so myself!) and for recommending Kasie West’s book! I really enjoyed it.

  5. This reminds me a little bit of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. There was also a fill-in boyfriend in that novel, and I really enjoyed the whole premise.

  6. Ah, yes, the teenage years of pretend or in some cases fictional boyfriends I think this will take a lot of teenagers back to that age where this is almost seemed the logical way to deal with problems. I think I would like to read this book, I would probably get a laugh out of seeing the elements in Gia, that were once elements I had wanted myself I never did have a pretend boyfriend, but I did want one for a while.

    1. This type of behavior definitely seemed “logical” during my teenage years. I hope you enjoy this book (if you decide to pick it up). It’s fun!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. I think I will have to Have a read of it, it sounds nice and light that would be quiet a quick read 🙂 Isn’t it funny how we think we know everything when we are teenagers but the world is so much broader than we belive it to be.

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