Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 7, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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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 more than anyone.
“I actually need your help. You see, your friends are hot. And you, darling, are the DUFF.”
“Is that even a word?”
“Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend,” he clarified. “No offense, but that would be you.”
“I am not the-“
“Hey, don’t get defensive. It’s not like you’re an ogre or anything, but in comparison…” He shrugged his broad shoulders. “Think about it. Why do they bring you here if you don’t dance?” He had the nerve to reach over and pat my knee, like he was trying to comfort me. I jerked away from him, and his fingers moved smoothly to brush some curls out of his face instead. “Look,” he said, “you have hot friends…really hot friends.” He paused, watching the action on the dance floor for a moment, before facing me again. “The point is, scientists have proven that every group of friends has a weak link, a Duff. And girls respond well to guys who associate with their Duffs.”
“Crackheads can call themselves scientists now? That’s news to me.”