Cover Love: Yes. It looks romantic, but also friendly. No kissing, just two people hanging out.
Why I Wanted to Read This:
I like this author for contemporary teenage romances!
Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
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, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
Romance?: Of course!
My first impression of Gia was not that favorable. She seemed bossy and shallow right from the start. She calms down a few pages in, but the way she is with her friends gave me pause. These are seniors in high school, they have history. She and Claire have been best friends for 10 years and she and Laney for five. Does she really think they don't trust her or love her enough that they will believe anything Jules tells them? Their whole friendship seemed like middle school girls rather than seniors. They were just really immature for high school seniors!
Unfortunately, they didn't improve as a group, but Gia made a lot of progress! Sometimes the moment where you are ready to change just comes upon you and for Gia that moment was prom.
One thing that bothers me is that we never did find out why Jules was so awful to Gia. And there was never the Gia/Jules showdown I longer for, but by the end, Gia had grown and matured enough that it wasn't necessary for her, just for me :).
Oddly enough, while Gia and the "Fill-In" have an attraction, the best part of this is Gia's growing friendship with his litter sister Bec. It's through Bec's eyes that Gia sees how awful she has been and how she needs to change. And she has won Bec's loyalty, it makes her feel more worthy of maybe a relationship with the "Fill-In" but also stronger to be without her friends.
Gia's family is kind of ugh. Her brother is a butt head who does something that, while I didn't think it was awful, did warrant an apology that he provides a little too late and insincerely in my opinion. And her parents are so sugar coating with everything. There just wasn't a lot real there.
I adored the "Fill-In." He had his own issues and was willing to give Gia the benefit of the doubt for a lot of things. They start off having a nice friendship, which I greatly enjoyed. It wasn't a jump right into a relationship, it was getting to know each other.
To Sum Up: Very good story. Would be good to hand to those girls who think that their friend's opnions are all that matters (I see a few of those in my middle school).
ARC requested and received from HarperCollins. Thanks so much!!