Book: The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Date Published: September 7th, 2010
Source: Library eBook
Date Started: January 5th, 2015
Date Finished: January 7th, 2015
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.
When you go through high school, I believe there are two different perceptions. One that is a stereotypical movie version and then theres reality. The Duff is both. I’ve never heard of this term before, but now that this book is being turned into a movie, I feel like this is going to be a common term. But it doesn’t matter. Its all the same insecurities just a different name.
So what is a DUFF you ask? Its a Designated Ugly Fat Friend. The friend that makes the others in a group look better. When Bianca gets called a Duff, her world and perceptions of herself and the people around her change. Bianca has always been cynical and sarcastic and content with the way that things are in her life, even if her parents are heading towards divorce. But once that divorce seems to start becoming a reality, Bianca panics and kissed Wesley Rush, the guy that called her a Duff. She gets a rush, a distraction. She and Wesley then agree to form a closet friends with benefits relationship. Sounds simple right? Well things get messy, and she might be falling for the one guy that she’s despised.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I figured it was going to be that average girl changes the bad guy kind of book. But the thing is, Wesley isn’t a bad guy, really. He just has his own forms of distraction to deal with his own problems at home. I wanted to get to know Wesley more. He was a flawed guy, just like any other guy out there. He didn’t pretend to be anybody else than what he actually was. He was cocky, sure, but you knew that there was something more to the cockiness.
Bianca was a flawed character as well. And I love that. She has that snarky sarcasm. The sarcasm thats needed to navigate your way through high school. She had family issues at home, but it makes me wonder if things were wrapped up a little too neatly in that area. Bianca knew that her parents needed to get a divorce. And so when the papers are finally delivered, she’s mad at her mom. But it seems like a quick two minute conversation solved it all. Her mom didn’t even tell Bianca about getting divorced. I would have been pissed off like no other. Her mom knew that Bianca’s father used to be an alcoholic, and something like this could trigger that old habit of his. But what did she do? The worst thing possible. I was so mad that this problem was brushed off so easily. It was handled so badly and dealt with within the span of a page or two. Bianca seemed to be more involved with her love life drama than what was actually going on at home.
I get why Bianca chose the distraction with Wesley. It was a way to just block all of her home life out.
I was impressed with the ending. Wesley was right back to acting like guy he is around Bianca, but Bianca wanted to take their relationship down a slower route. I liked that these characters didn’t automatically become the perfect little loveydovey couple. With Wesley being a complete gentleman, and Bianca being a nice polite girl. They were doing their usual banter right up to the very end. Theres no doubt that relationship needs work, but the characters knew that and didn’t need to rush right into it just to give the reader a happy ending with a tied little bow on top.
Now, the reason why I decided to read this book was because of the movie. I saw the trailer and thought it looked funny. From what the trailer is promising, the movie might differ from the book. It appears that Bianca in the movie tries to go through a transformation to undo her Duff status. It reminds me A LOT of the movie She’s All That. Bianca in the book doesn’t try to change the way that she is. She just tries to find a distraction for whats going on in her life. So far, I like book Bianca better. So we’ll see how the movie compares.