The Duff

Oh wow, this book was a challenge for me. The title is cool and the blurb really intriguing, but the story itself didn’t capture me from the start.

Bianca is a 17-year-old with major issues. She’s neurotic, she’s reserved, she’s cynical, and most of all, she is bitter. And here comes straight away why I almost put the book down after page 50, and then again after page 100, and 150. I really can’t handle that sort of book where reading about a character claws on your happy mood. Whenever I picked The Duff up again and forced myself to read on, just because I wanted to finish it and put it away for good, I felt how my light mood dropped with every line I read.

Bianca lives in a house with her dad. Her mother is the one running away in this book, and she’s the only totally unbelievable character in this story. Whatever she does, whenever she opens her mouth, or wherever she’s mentioned, I’m wondering whether the book would have worked better for me if the author had tried a little harder to make the mother three dimensional rather than the copy of a magazine cover model with no human traits at all.

Bianca’s dad is lovable through the first half – until he starts drinking because he can’t handle the divorce forced upon him. All very bad family drama. So…where comes the romance? I’ll tell you where. After page 150. And that’s when I finished reading the book in one go.
There’s a boy. His name is Wesley Rush. And he’s an asshole. Well, according to the heroine, anyway. I never thought he was. He’s a playboy, a seriously bad one, which is my favorite in books, because if that guy falls for the heroine in the end, it does mean something. (I’m not going to touch on the Toby Tucker issue, because I really didn’t like how that was going.)

What I’m going to touch on is the sex in this book. Somewhere in the middle I was asking myself if this was a porn for teens. Not because of any graphic sex, you don’t get that, but because of the quantity in which it’s dumped on the reader. Sex turns out to become Bianca’s stress-relief button. She’s pushing herself on the playboy, Wesley, and he doesn’t say no, of course. But while the author could have made this a sweet romance after only a one-nighter, Bianca is seeing Wesley like a whore. Frequently. Continuously. At any given moment. It really disgusted me.

Wesley, on the other hand, turns out to be the nicer one out of the two of them. He soon sees through Bianca’s shit and tries to be there for her. I really felt bad for him, when Bianca turned him down because she couldn’t handle her budding love for him.
The ending was seriously cheesy, but at least it was happy and we got past all the bitterness. So all is good on that front. However, The Duff will probably stay the only book I read by this author.

I’m sorry that I can’t say nicer things about this book.