The DUFF by Kody Keplinger – (movie tie-in, 2015, Hodder) Received from publisher via NetGalley (thank yoooou)
“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.”
I thought I should read this before seeing the film. I really want to see this film and I hate seeing a film if I haven’t read the book, especially if it’s a YA title.
I wasn’t sure this would be my thing, and the opening pages had me a little worried. I didn’t ‘click’ with the protagonist straight away. But I soon found myself locked in and before I knew it? I was at 80%.. Yikes!
I don’t think I can fairly do a review how I usually do because there wasn’t much that didn’t ‘work’ for me in this book. I think the ‘voice’ of the Bianca grated on me at first but the more I got to know her, the more I forgave her. Ha!
I really enjoyed reading how Bianca and Wesley’s relationship develop (and let’s face it, we knew how this would end, right?) but what I found most compelling was how sexually aware this book is. Bianca takes her actions into her own hands; there is no ‘convincing’ or ‘coercion’, she’s not clueless. She enters into it with a clear motive (even if it’s not an ‘ideal’ motive).
I think there is some ‘slut shaming’ going on in this book, but it’s not too heavy. I’m not sure I liked how certain characters were portrayed, but since we are seeing the world from Bianca’s POV, you have to allow for some margin of acceptance, you know? But I think the overall ‘message’ of the book was healthy and balanced.
This book was a lot of fun! The story ticks along nicely, and whereas it’s mostly quite upbeat and sassy.. there are a couple of moments that made me quite emotional. Hoo boy.
I gave this book an easy 4 out of 5. I was sad to have to let go of Bianca and Wesley. They were a lot of fun to read.