Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: The Duff

Synopsis: 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 Review: Going into The Duff I was expecting a hate turning into unexpected love story.   While that is the essence of the story, there is so much more to it.  The story held a lot more meaning than I was expecting.  It was very surprising.  By the end of the book I really loved it.

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend.  Not such a nice nick name.  Bianca knows she is not as gorgeous as her friends, but she has never been bothered by the fact.  That is until the night Wesley, the most gorgeous guy in school, calls her the Duff.  While Bianca shrugs it off and throws her coke in his face, it really cuts her deeper than she’ll ever admit.  Bianca’s escalating problems at home only make things worse.  Bianca isn’t the type of person to openly share her feelings, even with her best friends.  She can vent about anything , how much she despises Wesley Rush, and her absentee mother, yet she can’t bear to confess what she is really feeling.  I feel Bianca is really relatable in this regard, because well frankly I’m the same way.  I have bad issues with sharing intimate feelings or thoughts and it is just really uncomfortable to say things like that out in the open.  It’s an issue I feel a lot of people have, and no matter how much we say we want people to be open and share everything, it’s not true.  Most people aren’t willing to be that open, so why should we ask it of others?  However, there are moments, like with Bianca, where opening up isn’t such a bad idea. 
Unable to deal with her inner turmoil, Bianca does the only thing available to distract her.  She kisses Wesley.  While she can’t believe she has sunk that low, it offers the escape she needs.  That one kiss quickly escalates into an enemies- with- benefits relationship.  Bianca willingly delves in deeper with Wesley and loves the mind numbing sex that he offers.  She doesn’t have to deal with her mother’s absence, or the fact that her dad, sober for 18 years, is suddenly having relapses.   Bianca is upfront about the fact that she is using Wesley for sex, what she doesn’t see coming is that Wesley is a bit more intuitive than she gave him credit for.  When Wesley is the only one willing to listen and not judge, Bianca finds herself opening up to him.  She tells him secrets from her past that only her best friend knows.  She tells him secrets that no one but herself knows.  Their agreement for no-strings-attached sex quickly turns into something more. 
Wesley isn’t as shallow as he seems either.  In the end, everyone is running from something and everyone has different ways of dealing with their problems.  The reasons behind our actions may not always be clear, but there is always a reason.  I loved the way the author truly turned people’s typical perceptions of others and turned them on their head.  I’ll freely admit that I classify other people by stereotypes or names.  Emo, scurvs, whores, preps, etc.  Do I particularly regret that I think of people that way? Not really, because hey that’s society for ya, but one thing I NEVER do is judge someone.  Bianca judges Wesley for his actions and not for who he is, and when she discovers that she truly is falling in love with who he is as a person, that terrifies her.  She does the only thing she knows how to.  She runs from the problem.  And Wesley is running right after her. 
The characters were amazing.  Bianca was cynical and just utterly hysterical to read about.  She was a very refreshing MC and I enjoyed her narration very much.  I adored Wesley as well.  He may be a man-whore, but he’s still a wonderful guy. (I particularly loved his Womanizer ring tone)  I found him unexpectedly sweet and understanding.  If only more guys were that willing to listen.  This was so much more than a love story.  I can’t even begin to explain it.  The best I can come up with was that it was a truly raw and truthful account of people.  Not teenagers or girls with parental problems or even a love story.  It truly reflected PEOPLE.  We may not always be pretty or all that worthy of praise, but there is always something admirable to be found in everyone.  That’s the most important thing I got out of this book.  Whether you are a Duff or a Wesley in life, you matter.   While I could sit here and rave about how much I loved this book, I’m gonna wrap it up.  Plain and simple?  I LOVED it.   You NEED to read it.  Like NOW.  XD