Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Hodder via NetGalley
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.Review by Nara
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.
So I've probably read this book at least three times, and a big reason for that is because it's a fun read. It's got a shippable romance, a fantastic protagonist, and secondary characters who aren't completely bland. But that's not the only reason why it's got such high rereadability potential: it also actually deals with a lot issues that young adults can really relate to. From sexuality to insecurity to how to (or not to) face your fears: The DUFF is a book that is more than it seems.
I feel like what makes this novel is our main character. Bianca is such a great protagonist. Make no mistake, she's quite flawed, especially in terms of her insecurities and her means of "escaping" her problems, but underlying her flaws is a strength in knowing what she wants, and just going for it. She's also just a really great narrator as her voice is opinionated and snarky, and she definitely had me amused at multiple points in the novel.
I'm not normally one for bad boys, but I must admit that Wesley is a pretty fantastic love interest. Initially, as intended, he's a bit of a jackass, but as you read on, the character development kicks in, and damn if Wesley ain't a swoonfest. And the romance, my god. With the snarky Bianca and the witty Wesley, there definitely wasn't a single moment of blandness in their relationship. And while it undoubtedly starts off questionably, by the end of the novel, it's clear that the two are perfect for each other.
I'm not going to go on too much about the issues that The DUFF deals with, but I will say that rereading it made those issues much more prominent and I could see that the book was deeper than I initially thought it was. I'd definitely recommend this book if you're looking for something that shows that sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of, teaches you to deal with your problems rather than run and tells you to look insecurity in the eye and tell it to get lost.
Brief note about the film:
It's completely different from the book. I feel like they basically changed everything, including the personalities of all the characters. It was still an okay film, but definitely not something I'd watch again. Also man, the poster/tie-in cover is seriously ugly...
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