I cannot even begin to tell you just how much I love the Greyford High series and this author knocks it out of the park with The Stand-In Boyfriend. This YA sports romance is a relatively quick read and I was so immersed in the story that I didn't want it to end. Containing the perfect combination of teenage angst and sweetness, this coming of age novel accurately highlights the trials and tribulations of navigating high school, developing friendships, and experiencing dating.
This is a standalone novella within this author’s highly entertaining Greyford High series, but if you happened to have read The Penalty Box, then you will recognize both Noah and Jessica (Jessy). Jessica is completely humiliated when she, and half the school, witness her boyfriend cheating on her. Noah is the popular high school quarterback, but he is remorseful over something he did last year. Starting off with the best of intentions Jessy and Noah embark on a fake relationship. Of course, what could possibly go wrong?
Teenage girls are notoriously known for gossiping and the author skillfully illustrated Jessy’s embarrassment in such a way that it was easy to feel her pain. A likable heroine, she is the type of girl that I believe many can relate to. She is a loyal friend & occasionally stubborn and I really enjoyed watching her challenge Noah. After reading The Penalty Box, I was a little iffy about Noah, but this boy won me over. He has a huge heart and I really like how he treated Jessica. While he may have been ashamed of his previous actions, I do feel that he redeemed himself.
The fake relationship trope is one that I absolutely love. The end game is generally predictable, but that in no way detracted from the story. The Stand-In Boyfriend is a well written, sweet YA romance with an interesting storyline and likable characters. It was exactly what I needed during this time of stress as it captured my attention and left me with a smile on my face.