Bianca Piper’s world starts to crumble around her. Her mother runs away to flee from her love-less marriage, and her father slips back into his bad habits when he chooses alcohol to numb his pain. Wesley Rush, the man-whore and sleazy school hottie, marks Bianca as the DUFF: the designated, ugly, fat, friend. According to Wesley, each group of friends has one. Desperate to find an escape from her dysfunctional home life, Bianca throws herself into an enemies with benefits relationship with Wesley. She quickly becomes addicted to him, finding it difficult to go long periods of time without being intimate with him. Yet their entire relationship remains a secret from everyone, including her two closest friends. When Bianca’s true feelings surface, more than one relationship will suffer.
The Duff wasn’t on my radar until I saw it on the“Books on the Big Screen” display at Barnes and Noble. After seeing the trailer with Mae Whitman walking through the halls blowing bubble gum, I decided it might be a good read. I'm a big fan of Whitman, she is funny, sassy, and has a great sense of style.
Kody Kepinger wrote this book during her senior year of high school. She was seventeen years old at the time! The Duff covers the tough issues of self-esteem and confidence that many high school students face. While Keplinger does an okay job addressing the insecurities all girls have at one point or another, I found that this book just wasn’t my style.
I really struggled with the way Bianca choose to escape the problems of her life. In my opinion, she took the easy way out. Bianca is set-up to be secure, strong, highly-opinionated, and full of sarcasm, but she is quite the opposite, making her a very unlikable character. She found a guy who would sleep with her whenever she wanted no questions asked. The message of sleeping with someone you dislike, who has no respect for you, simply as an escape from your problems is a risky message to send to young girls. In addition, several meaningful and important relationships were brushed over. All-in-all this book was a disappointment. It's one of the rare cases where the movie was better than the book.