Release Date: September 7th, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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.
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 different to the movie
Having seen the movie first, of course I’m going to be comparing the book to it a lot. While the start was quite similar, and the overall message that everyone has problems and insecurities is the same, the rest of the story was remarkably different. And that’s a good thing! I get into it a bit more in the other points, but the book was much more than a simple make-over-for-crush-then-realise-the-guy-you-want-has-been-helping-all-along-and-accepts-you-for-who-you-are cliche story.
I didn’t expect to be so addicted
Mid slump mood, I really didn’t expect any book to grab me. Next thing I know I read THE DUFF in almost one sitting (if I didn’t have to sleep it would be a different story). It was so easy to read and keep the pages turning.
More complex characters and storylines than I expected
As you can probably tell from my movie comparison bit, I was expecting your usual make over cliche that results in the character realising she was okay just the way she is. What I got was much more interesting. Escapism/ avoidance behaviour, serious family problems that need processing, and more. It’s a lot more real and interesting than the usual cliches.
Bianca’s cynical, sarcastic personality is just like mine
I may not have the family and past boyfriend problems that Bianca is running away from (thankfully my life is much more boring), but her personality is very similar to mine. I hate all those romantic holidays, PDAs, going out, and dances. Sarcastic comments and high cynicism are common from me too. This all made Bianca easy to relate too and also enjoyable to read thanks to our similar sense of humour.
No excessive friendship drama, thank god
I’ve had my share of high school friendship issues in my own high school experience, and I really don’t enjoy reading them. They get on my nerves and also bring back some not so great memories. I was so happy that the friendship issues only make up a small component of THE DUFF. For most of the book Bianca’s friends are super supportive and there for her whenever she needs. They’re keepers for sure.
After enjoying the movie, I was ready to experience a simple, light typical high school contemporary. The DUFF couldn’t have been more different. With more complex characters and plot points, it was so much better than that. I’m adding Kody Keplinger to my list of YA contemporary authors I need to read more of.
Have you read or seen The DUFF? What did you think?