YA, whenever I turn to it, it is so I can read something easy. I don’t value it for it’s strong messages or literary genius (perhaps excluding Harry Potter) I value it for its escapism. It’s like watching a sitcom, you never really have to think. This is why I enjoy YA, I’m not saying it’s intrinsically mindless.
“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.” GoodReads.
If you need a quick read, slight escapism and a need to not analyse a story too much, this is an ideal book for you. It’s not often I review books that I find problematic, and rare that I recommend them regardless.
The DUFF is a high school drama set amidst teenage sex, alcoholism, and divorce. It tackles some interesting topics and depicts teenage life with a fair amount of realism. It has a good attitude toward teenage sex, which didn’t feel out of place or sensational.
DUFF stands for Designated Fat Ugly Friend, a term the ‘player’ antagonist, Wesley, calls girls whom befriending get him in with their hot friends. Over the course of the story Bianca, our gobby protagonist, uses Wesley to escape her problems and eventually they fall in love. It’s a beauty is in the eye of the beholder tale, and perfect for any young girl who worries that not being conventionally attractive will mean no one will love them.
Unfortunately, this story lacks depth or fully formed characters. While I enjoyed its encouragement of sobriety and safe sex, some of it’s conclusions felt problematic. The clichés are rife. But, I didn’t read this book for literary acumen, I read it to be entertained and distracted, and it was ideal for that.
Read any good YA recently?