The Duff by 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.Book picture and link go to The Book Depository and teaser from Goodreads
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."
Publication: Sept 7th 2010 (standalone)
Rec'd ARC copy from Goodreads Book Swap
I relate to this book so much as I am sure that many if not all girls can. It deals with being the designated ugly fat friend, and I know that I often feel out of place, not right in my own skin, wonder why people hang out with me, and think that my looks are inferior to my friends.
Bianca's character could pretty much be me, pessimistic, sarcastic but funny in that dry quirky way, loyal, insecure, smart, too trusting at times, not trusting enough others. It was a breeze to be in her head, and to understand her feelings and reactions. Her family life is going through a rough patch and she is looking for an escape- and finds it in the jerk- hot jerk nonetheless- Wesley. But what happens if she develops feelings that she feels will never be returned? (I have been there too)
Slightly spoilerish:This book should only be for older teens, (highlight if you want to read) because she does use sex as an escape. It is not overly explicit, but there are sexual situations, and even though B realizes what she is doing is wrong and inappropriate- and makes the decision in the end to slow things down, it still happens. There is also some curse words- it does not distract from the story, but also disclaimer. There is also an instance of domestic violence but it is not a continued thing and the involved party gets help. This looks at some of the gritty parts of being a teenager, but does not glorify it, and explores reasons, reactions, emotions, guilt, etc.
Her friends are amazing, and I have a few like that-- who will tell me like it is, who know my moods, and who are there. They are the best kind! There is also a love triangle, one of course is the bad-boy, bad a**, womanizer with the soft side and the hidden fears and insecurities- Wesley. The other is a perfect gentlemen, but a nerd-Toby. (Not judging- my hubby is a nerd, but Wesley (types) makes me melt in ways Toby can't begin to... but can't say any more without spoiling).
And to think that I almost dismissed this book without even reading the synopsis because I thought it was about or written by Hilary Duff. Yes, you can laugh and point now :)
On a more serious note, some of the revelations that B comes to made me almost shiver. It conveys a rough image to start, but she realizes some fundamental truths, and she has an important message to get across. I really enjoyed this one!