Bianca has her shit together. She may not be the prettiest, skinniest, most popular girl in her high school, but she's not bothered by it one bit. She's realistic about her self-image and her life; doesn't intend to change for anyone. Bianca's the kind of friend who will go to The Nest (a local teen club) to watch out for her girls, even though, she hates the place. She's a bit of a mother hen in the way she keeps her friends from making bad choices. I really love that about her. Smart and cynical; Bianca's one of those young people who seem way older than their age reflects. She reminds me of myself at that age--ready to move on from youth and start living.
Then, there's Wesley. Bianca's hero doesn't come to her like a knight in shining armor. Wesley is, well, he's an effing pain in the ass. He sits down at The Nest to talk to her, but our girl Bianca doesn't want any part of Wesley Rush. He changes tactics; out-right tells her she's the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) and that by being nice to her he'll have a better shot at hooking up with one of her hot friends. Bianca, God love her, tosses her Cherry Coke on him and tells him exactly what she thinks of his behavior!
I didn't know how Kody Keplinger was going to redeem Wesley or even if she could. Bianca and I are pretty turned-off by him at that point. He seems to care very little about anything or anyone but himself. Then, Bianca's life takes a turn for the worse and she reacts in a way I think too many young people do today. The distraction she needs comes in the form of Wesley. Kody really pulls the story together by the spot-on way she portrays Bianca's feelings and reactions during the turmoil she's facing. Wesley started as an arrogant jerk that I freely admit to being hesitant about for most of the book. However, when Wesley defends Bianca (no spoiler, you'll know when you read it) I fell completely for the guy. He begins to open up, show more emotion, and became real to me. Bianca challenges him to want something he doesn't think he can have. Thank God, he figures it out for both of them.
My favorite quote comes from a note Wesley leaves of Bianca's desk. I'm smiling again just typing it...
Wesley Rush doesn't chase girls, but I'm chasing you.
The ending: nicely done!
By the way, I want to say how impressed I am with Kody Keplinger who wrote this--her first book--during her senior year of high school. Awesome! Can't wait to read more from this talented author.