Author: Kody Keplinger
Release Date: September 7th, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Format: Paperback, Bought
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.
The Duff is a book that really had me interested in it for the reason of self-esteem issues. I've stated before that I have battled with my own self-esteem. I felt that maybe this book would be a good pick me up for when I am struggling myself.
Bianca is a character that I liked and hated at the same time. She had so many people around her that wanted to be there for her and help her, but she just shut them out all the time. I don't see the reasoning behind it, especially when she had one friend for over 12 years. If she should have been able to talk to, it would have been her. That really annoyed me about her. I wanted to tell her to grow up and stop holding it all in. I know what holding it all in can do to yourself, it isn't healthy at all. I did like how she was strong in other aspects. She protected those she loved, even if she didn't protect herself. She had good morals and her heart was in the right place.
Wesley was sweet. He was definitely arrogant and cocky, but also had a soft side that Bianca seemed to bring out of him without her even knowing it. At the end of the book I felt so sorry for him and wanted to help him in anyway that I could. Him being in a book though, I knew all I could do was read and hoped he got all that he wanted.
This book shows that even if you have money or not, everyone has problems. It also tells you not to judge someone unless you know the facts. There is always a story that is true out there, and it is up to you to decide for yourself how you want to perceive it. Bianca spends a great deal of the story not seeing how she sees others. She wants others to see her in a good way, but doesn't care to see how she judges others just as quickly. I am proud to see she overcomes that and starts to see people differently. She spends more time trying to be there for others and it seems to help many people along the way.
I did find the book to not be too full of depth. I thought it would overpower me with hidden messages as well as good tips to remember, but there wasn't anything that really hit me hard. I enjoyed the story and would even read it again, but I didn't feel it deserved 5 stars. I felt the characters to be lacking something, though what that is, I don't know. The messages were still nice and enjoyable. I was able to smile through most of the book as well as feel my heart warm as each page is turned.
I was pretty sure I knew how the book would end in the first couple chapters. I will say that the author does a good job of giving the ending we want, but doesn't hand it on a silver platter. She spends time building it up and putting speed bumps along the way. It was an ending I was satisfied with. It wasn't rushed. I liked that it was put together in a way that left me happy and not wanting to throw the book out the window.
The romance was very sweet. It starts off in a whirlwind of escapes and excuses, but turns into something very special. I liked that it was a very believable love and very easy to follow. It wasn't anything that seemed fake or made up, even though it was a story. I could feel the passion between everyone, even if it was a passion between friends as well.
This is a book that will benefit many struggling teens to help find themselves as well as adults that just need to hear something to give them the strength to keep going.