Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown)
Released: September 7, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: We Love YA Tours
*Debut Author Challenge
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.
Haven't we all felt like the Duff? Bianca is what most of us are - short, a little too curvy, with hair that isn't blond and can only be tamed when extreme measures are taken. She is me; she is you; she represents how every girl feels at least once in her life. Add to that the fact that she's hilarious, and you've got yourself a pretty darn lovable main character. You know that scene in You've Got Mail where Meg Ryan is telling Tom Hanks she wishes she could be the type of person who thinks of the perfect thing to say at the exact moment she means to say it? Bianca is that type of person. And I freaking love her for it. With lines like, "Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over," Bianca's feistyness keeps Wesley - and the reader - hooked and wanting more.
If you're still not convinced of this book's worthiness, let me tell you a little bit about Wesley Rush. Wesley is a Paul Newman of a guy. (Google that name kids and discover true hotness.) I swear he makes the pages of this book steam. He is sexy and dirty, but at the end of the day he really cares about Bianca. I devoured this book in one sitting and I definitely loved many aspects of this debut novel, but Wesley definitely gave The Duff a drool factor.
And if you're participating in the Debut Author Challenge, you should totally add this one to your list. Author Kody Keplinger, who by the way was only 17! when she wrote this novel, has earned her place on my radar.