The DUFF by Kody Keplinger -
4.5 out of 5 stars (release date )
Summary via goodreads.
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.
Here's how I can explain how I feel about this book. I started it on a Saturday afternoon. I had plans to see a movie that evening and I was about 2/3 in when reluctantly put the book down to go. The entire time I was watching the movie, I kept thinking about Bianca and Wesley. I needed to know what happened! I fidgeted through the rest of my evening and then as soon as I got home, even though it was after 11pm, I grabbed the book and read until I'd finished.
So yeah, THE DUFF is a surprising page-turner! It's also surprising in its depth. It could've been easy to take this idea and focus only on the fun and sexy parts (and there are some very sexy parts), but there is so much more to the story. Both Bianca and Wesley are complex characters with a lot going on in their lives. They're real people who do and say things we might not like all the time. I love that in many ways, Bianca and Wesley should both be unlikable, but they're not.
Bianca's world is fully realized, and all the characters feel like real people. I love the way this book shows that everyone has problems that they're hiding or trying to deal with on their own. No one's life is perfect. This extends beyond Bianca and Wesley to minor characters like Bianca's friends and family.
As the story unfolds we come to see why Bianca is the way she is. And even better than that we see Bianca come to understand why she is the way she is. This to me is one of the best aspects of the book. Bianca begins to examine her own life and the way she sees herself and how that has impacted her decisions. She begins to open up, and take risks. She realizes that she can't handle everything on her own.
I know some people will get hung up on the sex angle, but there is so much more to this book.
For the most part, I totally loved this book. I had maybe one small issue with Wesley at the end of the book, but it's spoilery so I won't go into detail, and I can live with it.
Fair Warning: This book has swearing and sexual content. In my opinion it's not overly explicit but it definitely goes beyond kissing on the page. If that's not something you want to read, you've been warned.
Cover: LOVE the cover. Bianca looks a lot like the way I pictured her here. And the bubble blow just adds personality. I have an ARC of this book that I picked up at BEA and the cover isn't as cool as the final. I also love the colors on this one. The whole thing just really works as a whole. I would pick this up in the store in a heartbeat.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5