Release Date: September 7, 2010
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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.
Bianca is named "The DUFF" (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Wesley, the womanizer in school while out with her two friends and ends up with a cherry coke thrown in his face. They start running into each other more often and are assigned to do a project together. Bianca doesn't want to give Wesley the satisfaction of admitting his nickname "Duffy" hurts her. On top of her low self-esteem due to the nickname and a previous relationship that ended badly, Bianca's family problems drives her to make a move on Wesley – as a means of distraction.
Because Bianca decides to keep the "relationship" and her problems at home a secret from her friends Casey and Jessica, she start to isolate them. Casey has always urged Bianca to let her feeling out instead of bottling them up. She knows Bianca is keeping something from them and starts becoming annoyed.
Bianca wasn't at all what I expected. She's a cynic and not afraid to speak her mind. I loved the way she talks to Wesley, seeing that he's the kind of guy that only gets praises. I wanted to keep on hating Wesley, but found myself rooting for him. Just like Bianca, he has his own issues and chooses to hide them in his own way. Their relationship starts off as something purely physical, but becomes deeper when they really get to know and start to care for each other.
I starting reading this thinking it would just be a fun read, but I didn't know it would be more and have a message behind it. I'd never heard of the term "DUFF" before this book, apparently it is a known abbreviation – which is very depressing. I can imagine this book being one hell of a wake up call for a lot of parents when it comes to what the kids might be up to, but I think that's needed.
It's fun, fast-paced and surprisingly emotional debut by a younger than usual author.