Published in: 2010
Edition read: Paperback
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.
Sooo.. I found I couldn’t put down this book once I had started it. Something about Bianca and Wesley’s doomed romanced was just too good to not keep reading. In saying that, it’s cringey and full of cliches. The uncool girl hooks up with the popular hot boy, they hate each other but oh wait, they actually love each other? Very highschool.
Bianca is not a likeable character at all. She’s bitter and mean, she pushes her friends away for something they have no control over, she refuses to let people help her, and she swears like a sailor- the first sentence in the book is Bianca dropping an F bomb. I’m not adverse to swearing, but there is a time and a place for it, and this feels more like a child discovering a naughty word for the first time and using it liberally because they don’t understand how to swear. It really annoyed me throughout the book.
Somehow, even with a terrible main character, it was a good read. The book is easy to follow, there isn’t a lot of deep thinking required, it hooks you with the predictable but still hoping it will end up how we want it to plot. For a quick read, it served it’s purpose. I also then had to watch the movie adaptation straight afterwards, because I was curious to see how it translated to the silver screen. Badly is the answer. I preferred movie Bianca as she was way more likable, but basically the movie is completely different from the book to the point where there’s even a completely new main character put into the movie to drive the plot. Ah well, we all know the book is always better than the movie.
The DUFF rating: 7.5/10
Would I re-read it? hmmm… if there was nothing else around, then I’d read this again.
Who would I recommend it to? Young adults interested in trainwreck romances with a happy ending.
Author’s site: http://kodykeplinger.com/duff.php