Author: Kody Keplinger
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Poppy (June 7, 2011)
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.
Most teens are driven by self-destructive ideas of image and place. Duff is one of those books that address these issues and puts them into perspective for young people...girls and boys alike. The author has written a story that is a must-read. It is well-written, frank, realistic, fast moving, and compelling. Conclusion: we may admire what we see as perfection in our peers; what we don't see is our own special unique self. Absolutely worth the read. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.