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.
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
more than anyone.
I actually read this book a while ago, but I just decided to write a review. I really loved this book, and, of Keplinger's books, this one or A Midsummer's Nightmare is my favorite. This book deals with friendship, family, and romantic relationships in unique ways.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Bianca is a great main character who is dealing with many things in her life. Her mom has gone on tours around the country as a motivational speaker, and her tours keep getting longer. Bianca wonders if her parents are going to get a divorce. The family relationship is handled well. When Bianca's mom sends divorce papers, her dad starts drinking again, even though he hasn't had a drink in seventeen years. Bianca keeps this a secret from everyone, and eventually she is able to help her dad.
The romantic relationship is very unique. I can definitely say I have never before read a book with an "enemies-with-benefits" relationship. Wesley is the type of guy who sleeps with many people, and Bianca doesn't like him. When Bianca is at a club with her friends, Wesley nicknames her the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). When he calls her that, she throws her drink in his face. When Wesley and Bianca have to work on a project together, she finds herself using a physical relationship with him as a distraction from what is going on in her life. As their relationship progresses, she begins to realize that they actually understand each other, and she finds herself falling for him. I feel that the beginning of their relationship was strange, but I really liked the way it developed.
The relationship between Bianca and her friends, Casey and Jessica, was well done. Casey and Bianca have been friends since they were five, and Casey can always tell when Bianca is lying to her. As the story progresses, their relationship becomes strained because Bianca is keeping secrets from her. When Casey finds out the secrets, she is mad that Bianca would sleep with Wesley instead of talking to her about her problems. Jessica is a girl that Bianca and Casey became friends with when they were sophomores. Bianca didn't originally want to be friends with Jessica because her brother, Jake, broke Bianca's heart when she was a freshman. The two girls clearly care about Bianca and want to help her.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.