June 28, 2015

Book Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill-In Boyfriend
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Again, Kasie West left me with the same old feeling after reading her books: half-entertained half-frustrated.
I might sound bitter here but what started as mild curiosity has already turned into nagging question in my mind: seriously what’s the problem between Kasie West and book-endings she wrote?
In fact, I’ll cite a line below from my review of The Distance Between Us where you can see what’s my problem of her way to end her books:
‘I read Ms. West’s book before. Pivot Point. While I enjoyed the book so much, I had an issue with it that actually ‘rhymed’ with The Distance Between Us. Ms. West has a beautiful writing style. It’s fun, adorable, cute, and enjoyable. She starts a story in a gripping manner, hooking up every reader’s hearts during the process, but when it comes to the story wrap-up she seems a bit rush, thus, creating an abrupt ending with ‘left-unfinished’ and ‘much-more-unexplored’ vibes. I experienced it during Pivot Point. And now again in this book. 
And again with The Fill-in Boyfriend…
The Fill-in Boyfriend was a light read. Even though it didn’t entertain me as much as The Distance between Us did to me, I enjoyed the lightness of the story also the good lesson learned here. It’s just sad that it was ruined by the ‘labile’ ending this book had.
The character Gia was this girl who pretty much spent all her life worrying too much of what people would think about her in every occasion. She hated confrontations, much more fights. So she practically just spent her time living in her own space of cocoon where she could bury the negativities deeply and let the others see only the positives radiating around her. At home, she made a note to always be a good daughter and sister. Her family was this type that might look perfect in the surface but really, not so much in the inside. It wasn’t that her family was having a breakdown in the inside or what. It was just disagreement or even complaint was unacceptable in her family. At school, she had to maintain her calm demeanor while pushing down the fear creeping on her sleeves with the fact that one of her friends apparently wanted to kick Gia out of their friend circle. Typical teenagers issue. Gia tried hard to come to terms with all the wronged treatment she’s been received only to keep a peaceful surrounding. Even if it meant slowly ‘killing’ herself in the process.
The male character, Hayden, came to her life through quite an entrance. What started as a fake relationship slowly built up into attraction between them. When they finally unraveled the real issue each other had been having for a long time, they wanted to step in and saved each other from whatever it was they’ve been facing the whole time.
Gia was actually a good girl. A really good girl who sadly happened to stay in the wrong place. Hayden was good and funny but I didn’t quite charm by him because of the unreasonable accusing he threw at Gia at some point. That scene right there showed exactly how this guy could be easily distracted by outside façade to care much about seeing things much closer from the inside. Ironically, though, he was the one who ended up helping Gia to be more expressive about her inner feeling instead of just keep going along with the current wherever it went.
This book actually contained a good lesson for teenagers nowadays. I liked how the author brought up such real issue into the story where people could see that caring too much of what people think of you will bring you nowhere because in the end the only thing mattered is your own opinion, your feeling. But going back again to my main issue with the ending, the lack of conclusive ending made the message wasn’t quite clear anymore.
The ending was a total off. No actual conclusive scenes whatsoever where the bad guys should’ve been reflecting their mistakes. They didn’t even have the audacity to at least utter their apologies to the ‘victim’ here which was a flat zero point from me. Gia handled the problem well by admitting her mistakes and even accepted the fact that how her life abruptly turned upside down was partly her fault too BUT where did it put the bad guys? Did their doings being justified? Nope. See? It lost the important message right here. If the main character finally succeeded in fixing her issue, I wished for at least the process brought justification of everyone’s doings, not just to one particular person.
Despite everything, I guess this book could easily attracted people by its unique title or pretty cover plus the enjoyable writing style the author presented here. Still though, I recommended this book to those who loves light romance story and doesn’t mind much about some lacking on its plot.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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