Title: The Duff
Author: Kody Keplinger
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.
My Thoughts: You're either going to love or hate The Duff. I loved it.
My favorite thing about the story is the characters, Bianca and Wesley especially. Most books feature characters that the reader can relate to and sympathize with. Not Keplinger. These characters are people you're going to want to hate. Wesley is your typical player that everyone who isn't sleeping with him loves to hate and Bianca is sarcastic and cynical, sometimes to the point where she's downright mean. Neither of them are people I would want as friends. But man, they totally ROCK the story. It's so realistic because these are REAL characters. They have multiple sides to them, just like real people do, and there's just something about them that makes you want to keep reading.
Keplinger kept the plot upbeat while also tackling some tougher subjects. There's a lot of dry humor in the story, which I loved. However, there's also some tough subjects presented - self-image, divorce, drunk parents, etc - and Keplinger did a good job of handling them. I felt like more time could have been spent on them but in my opinion, this wasn't necessarily a heavy issue book. The issue of self-image was the most heavily tackled, considering the book is called the DUFF or, The Designated Ugly Fat Friend, and Keplinger's take on it is unique and not necessarily what the reader would expect.
There were times when The Duff truly surprised me. I thought I knew what Bianca was going to do and then the book took a completely different route. I loved that, as well as the intense scenes between Wesley and Bianca.
Overall, I absolutely adored The Duff. I wish that certain parts had been developed slightly more but even so, it managed to keep me up half the night until I finished reading. I am thoroughly looking forward to whatever Keplinger comes up with next!