Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Synopsis: 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.
NOTE: This book is NOTHING like it’s movie counter part. It’s way better.
I’m pretty critical of YA Contemporary but this is one of those that I legit enjoyed. Bianca’s character is pretty true to a seventeen year old that has a shitty home life (like most YAs). Her Mom basically abandoned them and her father, unable to cope with the impending divorce turns to alcoholism. In the mists of this she discovers that she’s perceived by some to be the fat ugly friend among her group. Now, I feel like I need to point this out – this book is solid for friendship. These girls are not catty towards one another, they love one another and they are a great support system.
The book gets on its way when Wesley Rush informs her that she’s the DUFF of her group which of course lands him with coke all over his face courtesy of Bianca. However, when she finds her Dad passed out drunk she somehow ends up in Wesley’s house and embarks in a sex-a-thon with him. What I particularly love about this book is that sex is addressed in a fairly real way when it comes to teens. A lot and I would even say most teens are sexuality active. This is a fact and this book deals with that pretty straight forward. Sex is great, feels great but emotional connection with someone is even better. Keplinger, I think, deals with this really well, she transitions Bianca and Wesley’s relationship from fuck-buddies to a true connection so well. These two actually gave me the feels which is SUPER rare for YA and especially YA contemporary.
I like that there’s no true ‘bad person’ in this story, even Mom gets dimension. There’s no petty spoiled pretty girl making Bianca’s life miserable, there’s no backstabbing bff or jerk guy who deserves all the hate. All the character have layers and I appreciate that.
I do recommend it for MATURE teens as sex as a drug is well, the basis for this book.