The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Description: 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 "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that 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.
Review: The Duff has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since Borders closed. I felt I had to get something, so I picked up The Duff because I was curious about it. I didn't know the whole description, but I thought, Hey, it's only five bucks, so I went for it. Yea.
The Duff tells the tale of Bianca, an average girl who has been labelled the Duff from popular playboy, Wesley. Wesley is just after Bianca's attractive friends, and only hangs around her to gain their attention. Well, it's doesn't work because the only person's interest he garners (negatively) is Bianca's.
Bianca's home life really sucks, so she starts hooking up with Wesley to get her mind off of things. And it works. Because Wesley is a super-hot sex god. (That was taking it too far, but he is a good distraction for Bianca) This starts a turbulent relationship between Wesley and Bianca, plus the affect it has on Bianca's best friends and family.
Bianca was mature for her age. So mature that she looked down her nose at people who were having fun and partying and stuff during their senior(or junior?) year. She had an above-all attitude throughout the novel, and it really infuriated me. I mean, I'm like that too. But the thing is, I'm not having sex with the most popular kid in school, and still looking down at people. And another thing I hate with all my heart is when AP students have to repeat to everyone that they're in AP classes, and Bianca seemed like the type to do that. I know that it's the writer's decision to write it like that, but I was so peeved when I read, "Bianca travelled in the direction of her AP Government class," at least six times. We get it. You're smart.
Wesley was my favorite character. He bought some humor into the book, and yes, he was a dick. Usually those are the characters that make the book funny. I just couldn't stand Bianca when she was without Wesley. All he wants to do is get into girls pants, and he is very successful in those endeavors. Bianca hates him because of this, but that's what guys do. And you're in high school! Boy's hormones are raging and they need to take out this sexual desire on someone. C'mon, he's a boy.
It's very difficult for me to explain the writing, so please bear with me. I am all for realistic writing. I love when authors actually know what they're talking about when they're writing teen fiction. But sometimes it's too 'I think I know teens so I'll use these words'. It was like when that candy is so sweet that it hurts your teeth to eat it. I sound like a prick, but it was so teen. It oozed teenageness.
I usually hate secondary characters, and this book was no exception. Her best friends, Jessica and Casey, were annoying. I hated them since the first page, when they were flirting it up and dancing like fools, and they didn't even care that Bianca wanted to go home. Okay, Bianca was their ride, and being their ride, she makes the curfew. End of story.They were just so inconsiderate. But at the same time, they were living their lives. I am so sorry, but they were living young, wild, and free. And I have to give them credit for being best friends with a sad cynic like Bianca.
Overall, The Duff is a novel about breaking expectations, high school relationships, and sex. Even though I wasn't very fond of this book, it did have some good quotes.
"I had the right to be happy about this. Even we cynics deserved a night off once in a while, right?"
-The Duff|Kody Keplinger