Published by Little Brown and Company, Poppy on 9/7/2010
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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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.\r\n\r\nBut 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.\r\n\r\nUntil 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.
I liked this so much more than I thought I would. Sometimes, when a book is hyped, I feel pressure to love it as well. And that makes me think, “gee, this book can’t be THAT good.” I should know better than to judge a book by its hype, though.
- Bianca is smart, sassy, sarcastic and has some lady balls.
- I never thought Wesley was a man-whoring asshole. In fact, he seems genuine and likeable. I never did understand why Bianca detested him so much.
- In fact, I loved Wesley the best! He was honest and funny. And he didn’t fool me with his big talk; I knew he was a sweetie the moment he sat down at the bar with Bianca and called her the DUFF.
- I loved that they used each other for comfort. That made the budding romance so much the sweeter!
- The secondary characters, like Jess and Casey, were supportive and didn’t take away from the general story arc; in fact, they contributed to the charm of the story with their unwavering friendship, sense of humility and in general, I just enjoyed the three of them together as a trio. It reminded me of my own high school years.
- The banter between Bianca and Wesley is just adorable. They verbally spar often, but beneath the words was a growing affection for each other.
- The beginning is kind of slow and terrible. It took me several chapters to really get into The DUFF.
- Part of this is because Bianca is sometimes too smart, sassy and sarcastic. The book is told from her POV and she has a very negative (although sometimes justified) outlook on life. So it took me a little bit to really get into her character.
- The other part is because it was truly, in fact, just kind of slow. I actually was wondering what all the hype was about!
- Where did Wesley’s man-whore rep even come from, besides his big mouth? He’s a boy, boys lie. That’s common knowledge. Goodness. As you can tell, I didn’t believe him.
A lot has already been said about The DUFF, and of course you already know it’s been made into a movie. The takeaway is that anyone can be the DUFF. You don’t need to be fat and/or ugly. You only need to be insecure, and having been a teenager once myself, I can identify with that pretty well. So overall, the subject matter is relevant, the main characters are believable and easy to relate to, and it was a fast and fun story about overcoming your own doubts and insecurities to find your happiness.
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