Published September 2010 by Poppy
How I Got It: Purchased for my Nook (224 pages)
Genre: YA: Contemporary
Goodreads.com Summary: 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.
I so wanted to like The DUFF. I just couldn’t like it.
I could relate to Bianca. I mean, who hasn’t felt like the ugly fat friend? Her insecurities and wanting to distract herself are things I can relate to. I couldn’t relate to how she distracted herself, but I feel like there are people out there who can.
I just found myself getting annoyed at how she hated Wesley and yet finds herself falling for him. I suppose it happens, but it felt so cliche. She’s just so cynical, and a lot of the time, it was hard to root for her. And to a certain extent, it was hard to believe that she’d sleep with Toby after throwing soda in his face. She just seemed super inconsistent. Teenage girls can be all over the place, but Bianca just seemed excessively inconsistent and all over the place, and it was kind of frustrating to read. Her friends were pretty standard, as was Toby. As for Wesley…I don’t even know what to think about him. His transformation seemed really sudden, and it wasn’t completely believable.
Things definitely ended on a happy note, but Keplinger wrapped things up a little too nicely. I kind of wish Bianca’s insecurities and her issues with her parents were explored a little more. And does her relationship with Jake several years earlier have anything to do with her cynicism? Because I felt like that wasn’t explored very much either.
I get why people love this book- it felt very authentic, and very real, even though parts of it were a little hard to believe. Keplinger wrote this when she was in high school, which does lend to the authenticity of it.
Final thoughts: The concept was intriguing, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. It gets a 1 out of 5.