Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
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Caution: May contain spoilers
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
~synopsis from Goodreads
There’s just something about a book that surrounds a girl who hates a guy. It’s probably why I’m writing one, and thoroughly enjoy reading them. Bianca is a snarky and smart girl that you can’t help but love. She’s facing some serious issues at home, and this causes her to act out away from home. Sure, maybe it was stupid the way she acted out--by hooking up with Wesley Rush. And not to make excuses for her, but she wanted the distraction.
Why did she need to be distracted? She didn’t want to face reality--her parents living in separate locations, her mother after all these years finally filing for divorce, her alcoholic father teetering on the edge of a relapse. When those things happen, you either get depressed and cry, or you dive into anything else that is right there. Even if it’s with someone she hates.
Wesley is pretty much the biggest jerk for pointing out the whole DUFF thing to begin with to her. I mean, what guy would say that to a girl? Isn’t it supposed to be some sort of covert operation where the DUFF is supposed to be appreciative of the personal interest while he pounces on her friend? What I think is the worst is that Bianca took it to heart and allowed it to upset her. It might’ve been partially due to what else was going on in her life that made her more vulnerable to letting it get to her AND hooking up with Wesley.
The distraction distracts her from her friends Casey and Jessica. They get upset with her for bailing on them without reason. She didn’t mention the Wesley thing and her family situation to them. When she starts thinking something more is happening with Wesley, she bails. ‘He’s not a one girl kind of guy’ is her attitude. So she moves on. But can she move on? As much of a jerk as he is, he really was there for her. A lot. (My thoughts on this, some guys seem like jerks because they’re just cocky and sarcastic, deep down they can be caring… it just takes a trained eye to distinguish between the real jerks and only cocky guys… if that makes sense…) And if we distract ourselves from the distraction that we maybe might want to focus on, we may hurt ourselves.
There’s so much more to The DUFF than just the enemies with benefits aspect. The reality of her family’s problems is a harsh one. Facing those things can be extremely hard and extraordinarily depressing (speaking as a child of an alcoholic parent AND divorce). And Bianca’s take on the fact that everyone is a DUFF is true. We all feel like one, even if we are in a popular group and everyone loves us. But we should never let our doubts and negative thoughts get to us.
The DUFF is an amazing read. Despite Bianca’s potty mouth. It was funny AND real. It delved more into the emotions rather than what Bianca chose to do. Kody Keplinger is just spectacular. Definitely recommended!
Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM