Unfortunately, I let that scare me off.
I recently noticed that they were making a Movie about the book, and my interest perked up again Psst The movie a very PG version of the book.
This book really struck a chord with me Now I m not going to give you some sob story and tell you that I felt like a DUFF in high school Because the truth is, I actually had pretty good self esteem by that point And the thing is, so does Bianca At least until Wesley decides to tell her that her friends are the hotties of their group.
And yet, she still sleeps with him.
And I think that s where a lot of readers get the idea that this promotes low self esteem.
I don t think so See, she doesn t sleep with him to get his approval, she does it to find an escape from what s going home in her home life She figures since he s a manwhore, it s not like a real relationship that she has to care about or foster.
Turns out, Wesley may be sleeping around for the same reasons that Bianca is sleeping with him And what starts out asEnemies With Benefits, begins to into something as they get to know each other.
Oh, and speaking of Wesley Wesley is a straight up douchecanoe in the beginning of this book I wanted to strangle him I mean, just wrap my hands around his neck andsqueeeeeeeeze .
Which, when you think about it, is sort of a great thing for a writer to be able to make me want to do to one of their characters.
By the end of the book though I was like, Girl, kiss him already Another big complaint I see is the teen sex in this sucker.
So, if you think teenagers shouldn t have sex in booksdon t read this.
However, if you like me have some wiggle room in your brain for that, then you probably won t be offended It s basically fade to black with no details, other than kissing.
I also loved the fact that she was on the pilland they used condoms every time BecauseYayfor promoting safe sex as the norm.
And as far as the term DUFF goes, I think the author did a good job showing that it s just a word Everyone feels that way sometimes, and the only real difference between the Plain Jane and the Femme Fatale is the way you feel about yourself I received a digital copy of this book for review from NetGalley and the Publisher.
I think one of the worst things that could ever happen to a book is an unsympathetic protagonist A person would be willing to forgive a lot of things loopholes in the plot, slow moving story, clich d endings if they fell in love with the hero heroine Unfortunately, this did not happen to me with The DUFF.
I read a blog post by Kody Keplinger today where she remarked that a lot of the people who criticised The DUFF did so because of the sex scenes in the book Personally, I have no objection to sex scenes in YA books In some instances, I would even applaud them It wasn t the fact that the book portrayed teenagers having sex that bothered me about The DUFF Even though I come from a very sexually conservative culture, I know the reality, and the reality is, teenagers have sex Maybe not all, maybe not even a majority, but there is no denying that teenagers do have sex What bothered me was the way in which sex was portrayed in this book And, of course, the fact that for large portions of the story, I was tempted to bitch slap Bianca Bianca hates Wesley, the school man whore who has slept with women than she can count He, in turn, insults and hurts her by calling her the DUFF, the designated ugly, fat friend However, when her parents end up on the road to divorce and everything in her world seems to be falling apart, she finds a way of escaping reality sex with Wesley She gives him a booty call every time she wants to escape the reality of her situation, but slowly she discovers that running away doesn t really help In the meantime, of course, she also gets to know Wesley as a person and begins to form a tentative friendship with him But once she realizes that her feelings for him go deeper than she thought, she breaks things off with him and runs away, yet again.
I admire what Kody Keplinger is trying to do with this book Bianca spends a lot of time struggling with her self image, with the idea that she is unattractive enough to be labelled a DUFF There is also no hesitation in portraying teenage sex, with not only Bianca, but most of the other people in this book also being sexually active There is a feminist undertone to the last parts of the book, where Bianca reaches a realisation that duff, like slut and whore, are just labels that are created to put women down But I still feel like this book is sort of teetering on the edge of breaking away from regular YA tropes, without ever going the distance Let s start with Bianca To be honest, I really hated Bianca She is the sort of protagonist who makes me want to throw the book away instead of accompanying her on her journey of growth Bianca is portrayed as a feminist, but she is also a plain, bitter, sharp tongued, cynical person who has been rejected by the boy she first fell in love with, an incident that also makes her strongly oppose true love, teenage style For me, this is actually a very anti feminist portrayal of a feminist This is traditionally how people who deride feminism portray a feminist as a bitter spinster who has given up on men after being disappointed in love It s practically a caricature Despite the fact that Bianca self deprecatingly calls herself a hypocrite several times in the book, it didn t endear her to me one bit There is also the fact that Bianca ditches her friends in favour of getting laid Yeah, yeah she needs an escape from her problems, da da da, but the fact is, she put the dick before the chicks And to make things worse, she actually doesn t seem to understand why her best friend is pissed when she blows her off, refuses to talk to her, hangs up on her and forgets to hang out with her Instead of feeling guilty and apologetic, she turns around and calls her friend a bitch and a snotty cheerleader I m sorry, am I supposed to like this girl and sympathise with her problems Another sore point for me is the issue of avoidance Being a very head on person myself, I tend to get annoyed with people, both real and fictional, who bury their heads in the sand But sometimes I can understand and sympathise with characters who can t deal with what s happening to them, like Francesca, in Saving Francesca In The DUFF, however, I just didn t get it Her father is a recovering alcoholic who has fallen off the wagon, and instead of helping him, she just runs away to have sex, and hopes the problem will go away on its own She doesn t even try, right up to the end it s her father who finally realises how far he s gone and makes the decision to seek help This really got my goat she s mouthy and outspoken and opinionated, but she can t sit down with her father and at least try to help him And now for the big one, the S E X I would truly have had no objection to using sex as escapism in this book, if she hadn t had sex with Wesley I guess there are people out there who could use sex as a means of forgetting their problems, even if this is not a path I would choose myself What I really didn t like was the fact that Bianca re iterates so many times how much she hates Wesley She calls him a man whore and a creep over and over again She even, at one point, says that his touch makes her skin crawl with disgust Why, then, would she choose him, of all people to find oblivion with That not only sounds unhealthy, it sounds like she s using sex as a punishment Just once, I d like to read a book where the sex is not only acknowledged, but is found in a loving, healthy relationship.
I also think Keplinger does teenage boys a grave disservice with her portrayal of Wesley Maybe all those stories of teenage boys having no discrimination when it comes to having sex are true But I don t think anybody, boy or girl will, or at least ought to, have sex over and over again with someone who s not just using them, but actually hates their guts and insults them on a regular basis Again, a person who settles for something like that should be in therapy, not bouncing around in bed with their nemesis I mean, Wesley is hot and popular with the girls He could definitely find a girl who at least likes him a little and sleep with her And there is no indication in the book, really, that Wesley has any qualms whatsoever about being used and discarded by Bianca That s just so wrong.
Wesley also gets to do his playboy routine with no obstacles whatsoever because his parents suffer severely from the Disappearing Parent Syndrome thanks for the phrase, Lucy Obviously if he had a responsible caretaker, they would insist that he have a curfew, behave responsibly when it comes to sex and ensure that he lives like a teenager, instead of a Mills Boon hero Instead, he conveniently has a grandmother who takes care of his sister, rejects him brutally and doesn t call Child Services on his parents Please The ending of this book was so clich d, I wanted to barf Despite being a stone bitch, Bianca somehow manages to make Wesley fall in love with her, gets an easy out from having to decide which of her two suitors to pick view spoiler since the other guy nobly gives her up while admitting that he still has feelings for his ex girlfriend what a cop out hide spoiler 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 Than Anyone What a bummer.
I decided to read this novel for four distinct reasons 1 The unmistakable hype2 The movie was exactly what I hoped to watch a Friday night3 Many reviewers qualified this book as fun and absolutely entertaining 4 I wanted to see how the DUFF thing was dealt with in the written story and recognize the changes they made to the cinematographic version because there always are But the thing is hype lies, this was nothing and believe me when I say that like the movie, the storyline held so many clich s it became boring than entertaining itself and the DUFF thing was scantly explored It laid there in the background but, really, the author probably only included it to add something new to the friends with benefits overwritten clich I get that there is supposed to be a message behind the DUFF thing, but we only really get it by watching the movie Aside from the omnipresent stereotypes gosh, you could actually swim inside a pool filled with them Bianca, the main character, was highly irritating Obnoxious Abrasive Rude I might seem like a cold heartened person by saying this, but I truthfully don t see how Wesley could have fallen for her She was so mean to him, and there was really nothing special about her Maybe I would have felt differently toward her if she hadn t bitched about and to her friends, her dad and Wesley himself whenever she wasn t in the right mood, which means for half of the story, heh Ugh I can t stand it when people throw at others hurtful words without thinking about the other people s feelings.
Well, I m glad I m done with this read High fives to self for not having DNF d.
Wesley Rush doesn t chase girls, but I m chasing you Oh boy, you don t know how I just swooned at that line sigh Anyway, Gahd, I love love luuurve this book I had this on my TBR pile for quite a long time but I keep on passing through it Seriously, I should have read this a long time ago But yeah, I guess it s better late than never, right And I am really glad that I finally read this This is just so freaking awesome I m surprise on how much I enjoyed this book I had a lot of fun reading this book, this made me laugh, swoon, and grin a lot And the characters, though they have their obvious flaws were still really adorable and lovable Kody Keplinger did a very great job on developing the characters You ll definitely notice how these characters changed and grew throughout the story, most notably Bianca.
I loved Bianca Even though she could be a bit whinny and frustrating at times her character was still really lovable and understandable I don t hate her for her actions during those times when she was trying to escape the problems she had Even if it was kinda bitchy or slutty, the author was able to make us connect with Bianca and understand what she was trying to do As the story progressed, Bianca was able to realize things about herself and how to finally stop running away from her problems and face it It was really amazing how noticeable her development was She was very different from how she was on the very first part and how she turned out on the last part Not just the way she acts but also the way she thinks Her experiences and her past actions did change her perspective in a lot of things in a really good way.
Wesley All right, he s a jerk and I am very well aware of that but still I really loved this guy I love how Keplinger wrote his character She didn t try to gloss his character by being a total good, nice guy in the end just so that everyone would like him In fact he was still a bit of a jerk in the end but not really in a bad way But what the author did was to make us understand why he was doing it And I don t deny that it was still bad and awful but I also realized that it wasn t entirely his fault why he was like that That there were really big reasons behind it He did changed in the end, just like Bianca, he finally stopped running away and finally faced his problems But the witty, overly confident, a bit of an a hole Wesley was still there which I really did like I always find it hard to understand guys who were like Wesley or to find logical reasons why they were being like that But Keplinger was able to help me realize that maybe there were really reasons for that like escaping and we shouldn t be all too judgmental I don t say that it s okay for them be like that but maybe we have to be a bit sensitive because at some point we tend to become like them too, maybe in a different way, but still there were times that we all wanted to escape too They needed someone that would make them realize the things they should really do.
Casey and Jessica, Bianca s best friends were also really lovable I love Casey for being so supportive and caring She s the kind of best friend every girl would want to have A best friend who will always be there when you needed them, who would immediately notice if there was something wrong and would easily lend her help and her ears even if you keep on pushing them away I love that Jessica was the one who saw that Toby wasn t really for Bianca That she saw pass Bianca that she wasn t at all happy and that what she really want was Wesley I would love to have best friends like this two They re one of the sweetest and most adorable best friends in all the books I d ever read.
Whoa I think I wrote a really long review Haha But that just means I so loved this book I really have a lot to say whenever I got so engaged over a book Over all, this was a very wonderful and insightful read Not just fun but you ll also get lessons from here I highly recommend this A must read This review is also posted at Book Overdose 4 stars I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book Initially, I picked it up because I saw a preview for the film After reading it, I m not sure if I ll go watch the movie With the way the few clips I ve seen show, it s not much like the book at all And some of the things I really loved about the book seem to be missing from the film but back to the book The Duff is a laugh out loud, sweet, sexy, and at times serious read It s a book about friendship, loyalty, and even love Bianca is the type of heroine I love reading about The kind thats snarky, outspoken, is who she is and doesn t change for anyone She is also relatable She s a good friend and a good daughter And she is the Duff of her group, according to Wesley Rush Wesley is one of the best looking guys at school A duff isn t someone who is fat or ugly necessarily, all it means is that out of your group of friends, you may be the least attractive, etc It s not a term of endearment, even though Wesley makes it seem that way So this Wesley guy he seems like a total tool, right Rich, popular, thinks he s the shit Well, there is to Wesley than meets the eye Wesley s life isn t as perfect as it seems And really, by the end of the book, I completely loved him Wesley and Bianca s not so much friends with benefit s relationship was something that developed over time At first, it was just physical A way to escape what they were both going through, but with time, feelings developed Both characters realized they cared and Bianca realizes that she s doing the unthinkable She is falling for Wesley Rush If you re looking for a good enemies to lovers story, a story about friendships, finding yourself and coping with the hard stuff in life, this would be a great pick I loved both of the main characters, and Bianca s friends were great too It s one of the better YA books I ve read lately, and honestly, for YA it was a little on the steamy side, which is just another plus I listened to the audio version of this book and I loved the narrator I thought she captured Bianca perfectly.
Bianca is out with her two best friends when Wesley Rush comes up to her and lets her know her standing You see, your friends are hot And you, darling, are the Duff Is that even a word Designated Ugly Fat Friend, he clarified No offence, but that would be you So Bianca throws her drink in his face.
Then, she goes and kisses him I didn t like these characters very much at first I thought she had lost her ever loving mind Kiss that asshole that said that Plus, he keeps calling her Duffy No Then after I almost said to hell with this book I kept reading They grew on me.
Bianca decides to use him to forget her problems at home So it begins He still is a bit of an asshole, but he is hot, so our girl B takes what she wants She realizes that maybe being the Duff isn t so bad at one point and time.
Benefit one no point worrying about your hair or make up.
Benefit two no pressure to act cool you re not the one being watched.
Benefit three no boy drama A few things kept standing out to me that kept me from completely falling in lurrvve with this book.
Now I m not that teenage girl So well, I didn t like so much of the use of sex in the book to get rid of stress I ve got kids this age That I just locked in their rooms until they turn 35 I didn t understand Bianca being so hung up on Wesley continuing to call her the Duff girl and then she still can t keep her hands off him I would have probably kicked him in his nads Then the fat shaming So many times in this book Bianca refers to herself as fat her fat ass is used But no one else says anything about her weight Not like Dad s falling off the wagon I don t see anyone especially a teenage girl moving past one of the scenes in this book with no lingering anger.
Then after finishing the book I thought I would look up the movie trailer WTF It doesn t even sound like the same story.
Find all of my reviews at ALL GO TO NETGALLEY AND PICK THIS ONE UP FOR FREE 3 5 15 I kinda LOVED this book Color me as surprised as anyone else It seems a lot of people didn t Here s what I have to say about that And also You re right I m not Talk about a refreshing flippin change of pace from the regular YA fare Not to mention this book was written by a fetus Her momma should be proud Kody Keplinger offers up some serious straight talk in The D.
Bianca is flawed She s an asshole She s your average teen sorry average teens, but when you grow up you will realize you were kinda assholey every now and again Bianca isn t above judging a book by its cover and the awesome part is she totally owns it and also acknowledges that everyone is doing the same to her When Wesley Rush informs her of her D.
F status at a party, she does what a lot of teenage girls would do And then she bangs him on the downlow I mean, look at this guy Sometimes it doesn t matter if a dude is a total wanker, you still want to make bad decisions with him anyway Warning to parents There s TONS of intercourse in this book Now, it s the fade to black kind and eventually Bianca realizes that a romp in the hay may not be as simple as being only be a romp in the hay and that she should value her self worth a bit and yada yada yada, but this chick does get it on and isn t sorry about it If you re not okay with that, I completely understand and you should probably see the movie instead From the looks of things, the book and movie don t have a hell of a lot in common except for the title and the HEA to wrap things up While the movie appears to have one of these not overused at all type of storylines Book version of Bianca is one of these girls Therefore, there is NO mean girl hassling Bianca in the book nor does she have a problem scoring the guy of her dreams once he breaks up with his girlfriend In fact, for all of the D.
F talk, Bianca hangs out with a couple of hotties who never seem to be able to score a date either thus leading to the realization that EVERYONE is a D.
F sometimes Heck, look at the H.
C in the movie version It wasn t so long ago she could have been considered the D.
F Now, the writing isn t perfect remember author is a wee little baby and I can t give it 5 Stars due to a bit of a lackluster ending, but for a debut This was pretty freaking solid and I recommend it.
A note to anyone who chooses to read the following I am critiquing this book solely based on the first 80 pages or so as I simply didn t have the will to continue any further.
There are some spoilers, but only for the first 80 pages.
Have you ever been sitting with a group of friends and one of them tells a joke and immediately everyone but you starts laughing And then you sit there looking like the stupefied idiot who s just not getting it That s how I felt while reading The DUFF So many of my GR friends have liked this, and I ve read many reviews proclaiming how awesome it is but I just didn t get it The DUFF has been blurbed by Elizabeth Scott and Simone Elkeles, both of whom are authors that I trust the opinions of Or rather, did trust.
While I d like to say that The DUFF starts off good but wanes, it doesn t The DUFF starts off with Bianca sitting in a club, watching her friends dance while she drinks pop at the bar Not long after, Wesley Rush comes up and starts telling her how he s interested in her friends, and how she s going to help him make them be the next notches on his belt That isn t a direct phrase from the book, just to be clear And, to add to the insanity, he also so graciously informs her that she is the DUFF Designated Ugly Fat Friend.
And so, naturally, Bianca is disgusted with him for this fact and because he s basically her school s male slut But what happens next is what really had my head hitting the wall She decides to use him as a distraction where have I heard this plot line before Hmm could it be a dime store romance novel Why yes, that s it and kisses him on the spot.
The guy s a brazen asshole who s trying to use you to get into your friends pants all while telling you that you re a statistically ugly fat chick and so you decide to make out with him WTF No wonder he has no respect for you Skip ahead a little ways and you ll find Bianca and her friends discussing Wesley s character and kissing capabilities you know, since Bianca is an expert in that department now her friends think that he d be great in bed, but Bianca thinks that any one that sleeps with him is liable to get an STD shortly thereafter.
Good observation, Bianca except it is only around 30 or so pages later that Bianca sleeps with him herself WTF And am I the only one who thinks that the first time Wesley and Bianca are together is maybe even a bit wrongly handled When Bianca was beginning to think to herself that maybe she doesn t want to have full blown intercourse with him, and then immediately following that thought she thinks that they are now, in fact, having sex Again, WTF I m not saying that it was rape since there was no outowards discouragement from her but, doesn t that seem ridiculous for Bianca to allow him to continue, what with her having those doubts in her head at that very moment Does she honestly have that little of self control self worth And as for Wesley, let me just say this I love arrogance in a guy I Barrons, BTW , but only a certain brand Wesley s brand of arrogance is obnoxious and deplorable it s not charming or redeemable in any way to me.
I don t know perhaps trying to read something like this after having just finished a respectable, well written novel like Emma was a bad idea, but there you have it.
Blech And, because I don t like to count DNFs towards my challenge, I ll just say Attempted reading on 6 28 11.
5 3 Over hyped.