*ALERT: MAJOR RANT AHEAD. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!*
I'm sad to say, but I was completely disappointed by The Fill in Boyfriend.
Here I am, feeling myself getting into a major reading slump. My mom just had surgery, and my schoolwork just sky rocketed because the first quarter is ending. I wanted to pick up something quick and fun that all my friends seem to have enjoyed. I stumble upon The Fill in Boyfriend on my library's Overdrive and think, "Perfect." The average of my friend's reviews is 4.11, and the average rating of everyone who has rated it is 3.91, which is relatively high. So I go in and start reading.
Right from the get go I had a "meh" type of feeling about this, but I thought it might just be me, so I kept at it. Unfortunately, Gia is still as annoying as she is in the end as she was in the beginning. Yes, she has definitely matured, but I hate how she never fully developed to ever come clean about what she did. She kept putting up excuse over excuse of why she couldn't. In the end, she's still worrying about a longtime friendship that has dissolved because of her. I'm sorry, but if you didn't have faith that your best friend would believe you over another, than you obviously don't trust her enough. I just hate how the friendships were portrayed in this novel. Why aren't there more healthy friendship dynamics in young adult literature? Why must girls ALWAYS be pitted against each other?
This leads me to another point - Gia's "frenemy"Jules. The portrayal of Jules is horrendous. I get that we're seeing this from Gia's perspective, but when is someone that ignorant of another person's problems? Gia is all "woe is me" because she lied to her friends and is worried Jules will figure it all out, while Jules herself is going through a lot more serious of issues. Jules is made out to be this horrible person that is almost devilish, and I hate that Kasie West never took that turn in the story where Gia actually realized she was in the wrong for all of it and that she was being immature. Yes, she kind of does in the end, but she also blames it on Jules. In the end of the novel, she does realize that her best friend deserved a better friend than her at the time, but doesn't think that Jules is the better alternative. Instead, she says that she is the better alternative than Jules because she changed. If you are still comparing yourself to another girl and putting her down just like you did in the beginning, you haven't changed that much! I just wanted a scene where Jules and Gia had a big confrontation and they both realized that they were being immature brats, but no. We get the most disappointing ending EVER.
There's literally nothing resolved in the end besides the relationship aspect of the novel. Yay, the two main characters are together. But you know what is more important than boyfriends? You got it, FRIENDSHIPS. All we see at the end is a glimmer of hope that Gia and her best friend will work it out. That's it. There are no questions answered about what is actually going to happen.
Another thing that literally pissed me off so much were the side characters. Gia's friends are fine, except for Jules, but they all lack depth. Every single one of her friends are those one dimensional happy go lucky girls that have no care in the world. Her brother is the grade A protective yet douche older sibling and her parents are the stereotypical distant mom and dad that just "don't understand." Ugh.
The one thing I kind of liked about this novel is the relationship between Gia and Hayden. Yes, they were cute, but god, their communication skills are horrendous. I seriously wanted to tear my hair out sometimes. Gia made so many problems and made everything so much more dramatic than it needed to be. Hayden did the same thing because he is this artsy fartsy hipster that is misunderstood and tortured. Yeah, right. You have a great family and friends that might not be the best of people, but still support you. Can he just stop sending so many mixed freaking messages? Bec was also pretty cool. She was the only side character I didn't have an issue with and she was by far my favorite.
However, the story was interesting. I'll give it that. I wouldn't really recommend this book though. At first when I finished it, I gave it around 3.5 stars, but the more I think about it, the more I find more problems and get more angry. West's writing style was really capturing, and it is what made me keep reading to be quite honest. I will probably read something other of hers, I just hope that I get different results.
With that, I give this book
2 Stars, and I'm being generous.
Have you read anything by Kasie West? If so, what did you think? What are some contemporaries that got your blood boiling or your heart singing? Comment down below, I'd love to hear what you think!
Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!
Side Note: Maybe I just don't like characters with three letter names? Tia also bugged the crap out of me in Biggest Flirts.