Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorce dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.
Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.
Whitley has a bit of a reputation for being an easy party girl, and it doesn't seem to bother her. After a night of too much drinking she wakes up to a one-night stand she hopes to never see again, and he hopes becomes more than the one night. Only they find out they are to be future step-siblings.
Whitley was a bit difficult to warm up to at first because I was put off by her "loose" behavior. But looking past that, I did like her the majority of the time. The only time I truly did not like her was when she took her 13 year old soon-to-be stepsister to a house party and got her wasted.
Her relationship with her parents is a whole other story. Both parents were pretty selfish and hardly ever knew Whitley existed. Her mother just complains to her about her father, and her father completely ignores her when he's not using her as a drinking buddy. Plus her brother was always too busy with his new family to really have anything to do with her either. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I felt at first that her stepmother was trying too hard by always checking up on her. As I got more into it, it became clear that her stepmother was the only real adult/parent in the book.
Nathan, her one-night stand stepbrother, was a great influence on Whitley. I feel he played a large part, along with his mother and sister, in Whitley getting her act together. It felt like those three plus her new BFF Harrison were the only people who truly cared about her.
This book will have you feeling a wide range of emotions throughout. It has it all and if you loved The DUFF, then you won't be disappointed. Plus there's an appearance from Wesley and Bianca.