by Kody Keplinger
I won this book from the author with a microfiction :) Man, I was so excited! And, I started it at like 9pm and couldn't stop reading until 12:30 when I finished it :)
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.
My Expectations: I’ve read a lot of positive things but I didn’t really buy into the hype. I thought it would be so-so and I would have a lot of issues with it.
Delivery: I can overlook my issues because it was crazy addicting!
Put-down-ability: 1/10. Yes, I said it. It was one of those ‘don’t stop reading or you’ll melt’ type of books
You know that wonderful feeling, and yes this is an annoying kind of wonderful, when you are reading a book and you stop because you need to do other things (like homework) but you just for the life of you can't stop reading? Yes. For me, that was The DUFF. And I loved it because of that.
The writing is one that I am immensely impressed with from Keplinger, and not just because she is a debut author because she is writing like an old pro. It kept my eyes figuratively glued to the page as I could barely stop reading to watch my scheduled TV shows. What is further laudable is the dialogue, which was top-notch. Sure, I have yet to meet such witty people in real life but it was entertaining and sounded (to me) authentic. Bravo =)
Bianca and Wesley’s ‘relationship’ was well written, it was sexy and steamy but I liked that there was some substance to it. I didn’t find the sexual activities off-putting but rather they added to her character’s complexities. Sure, it’s rare to see a YA novel dealing with issues in such a forward manner but that’s what made it refreshing. Keeping Bianca’s motives realistic was key and Keplinger executed that part well.
In addition, I liked B’s friendship with Casey and Jessica too, not very clichéd but realistic, I mean friends aren’t always the most perfect people; their bond was well written. I couldn’t really believe Wesley’s character development though; I felt like I could only see the surface of him, not really understand his depth. Oh well. And if you’re worried, the scenes are not overtly graphic.
However, as I continued my delightful reading experience, I did end up not really loving the ending. I hate to say it, but it did become a tad preachy and all moral and stuff. Another thing is that I felt Bianca’s problems really started piling up to a point where I thought it was a bit too much, as if she only had problems for the sake of making her more sympathetic. I can overlook some of this though because I admit to really really enjoying the novel.
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: mature YA fans, people looking for a different YA romance, YA contemporary fans
9/10 – because usually I’d dock some points for parts I disliked (like the ending) but I found the fact that the novel so extremely engrossing was enough to boost up the rating. Writing and dialogue was great, plot was unique and the main character was snarkily wicked. It also dealt with themes like self-image and sexuality in a strong manner. The supporting cast could have been polished, as could the ending but all in all, it was addicting and awesome!! A
author blog / website / twitter