by Kody Keplinger
Pages: 343 paperback
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: 5th April 2012 (original publication September 2010)
Received From: Hodder Children's Books
Received From: Hodder Children's Books
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. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.
I might be 24 and a half (the half is important) but I still love myself a high school drama! I don't know what it is but something about the firsts people go through during high school and university intrigues me and The Duff had me captivated from the very first page! I've actually had this on my shelf since just before Lying Out Loud came out but with university never got around to reading it and I'm kind of glad. You see, if I had read it when I had got it I wouldn't have been able to lock myself away for a day and completely and utterly submerge myself in it like I did recently and I honestly can't think of any other way to read this book! But I need to stop fangirling for a moment and actually give you lovely lot a review so here you go...
The Duff follows seventeen-year-old Bianca as she is introduced to the term DUFF - Designated Ugly Fat Friend - by Hamilton Highs resident womanizer Wesley Rush. With two ridiculously hot friends Bianca is the Duff of the group and when Wesley tries to use this to get to B's best friends it sets into motion a whole heap of events that no one could have predicted. The word eats at B's self esteem, making her question who she is within her friendship group and with her family falling apart she seeks comfort in the most unlikely of place... Wesley Rush! Throughout the book her friendships are tested, her relationship with her parents change and B has to discover what being the Duff means to her.
Have I said how much I love this book? It has everything from complex characters, captivating story arcs and a swoon worthy book boyfriend to boot! There was something completely endearing about the way in which Bianca forms relationships with people throughout the course of the book and I found I connected to her in a way I wasn't expecting. She's got this wall up around her feelings and has a habit of rushing into things head on without thinking about the consequences. It felt like a real and raw account of someone trying to come to terms with things beyond her capability. There was a real heart to this book and it speaks to every girl that thinks someone else is prettier, skinnier or simply more than themselves. It is one of those books with dark twists and yet still has you smiling by the last page.
Overall I couldn't recommend this book any harder! If you have seen the movie and thought "well I don't need to read the book now" you couldn't be more wrong! The only similarity between the book and the film is the character names and the term "DUFF". The Duff is full of heart and heartbreak, it will have you crying one moment and laughing the next. It is the quintessential high school novel and it is YA contemporary at its best!
I received this book as an ARC from Hodder to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.