Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: The Duff

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Release Date:
September 07, 2010
Now Available in Paperback |Amazon|
Published By: Little, Brown/ Poppy
Pages: 288, paperback
Young Adult
Publisher, in exchange for honest review
Overall: Flippin' Fabulous
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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. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.

My Thoughts:

Am I the only one who has never heard of the term DUFF before? The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I think I may be.  I quickly learned the term isn't for the soft at heart nor is it's definition exactly confined to the designated ugly fat friend.

Our main character, Bianca, isn't a character who is typically easily loved or favored.  Usually, when I come across a character like Bianca, so negative and a person who embodies a full out hater, I find myself closing the book way too much, pushing it aside and eventually forgetting about it.  Bianca though, she definitely is different.  While her outlook and attitude towards most things are negative there is something so relate-able about the girl.

Wesley, the object of Bianca's affection or perhaps deflection, is the a-hole of the good-looking sort we all love to hate.  Or is it hate to love?  In Bianca's case she comes down with a case of the flip-flops as she learns, along with the rest of us, that our grade-a jerk isn't all what he seems.  Sure, he is still an a-hole but there is more to him like actual feelings and reason behind his need and desire for the female touch.

There was nothing sweet about the way Bianca and Wesley started their enemies-with-benefits-tryst.  Bianca after all got her education on the word DUFF from Wesley himself.  Everything about these two screamed that they should have stayed away from each other, continued hating each other and never should have started what they did but that was when their life stories came into play, brining the two together, despite the fact they failed to admit and realize that they were more alike than they thought.  The character development between these two was actually pretty kick-ass the way they were brought together, stuck together and then wait for it.... grew together.  Both Bianca and Wesley were running and both of them had situations which were deeper than worrying about what to wear the next day or who to take to prom.  Bianca and Wesley easily turned into two perfectly imperfect halves of one slightly skewed whole.  Problem was, were either of them willing to admit it and succumb to it?      

If there is one more thing I have to hand it to Kody Keplinger for it is bringing The DUFF to life without skirting around the subjects so many authors steer clear of.  One of those major subjects? Sex.  Kody Keplinger does a bang up job of keeping the story real and alive by never falling victim to avoiding the subject to keep the prudes of the world happy.  One hundred percent realistic down to the statement stating that we are all DUFFS.

If casual sex, curse words of the four letter sort, and stereotyping not your thing then perhaps you won't appreciate this book for all that it is.  Hilarious yet sadly accurate, if you can look past that I'm pretty sure you'll see the pure awesomeness that is Kody Keplinger's novel on The Duff.



  1. Don't feel bad. I had never heard the term DUFF before either.

    Awesome review!

  2. I've never heard of the word until the book came out and then for some magical reason the word became more used around me lol

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  4. I actually didn't like this book as much as you seemed to. I think the writing was great, but I couldn't let go of the fact that Keplinger was a teenager when she wrote it, and that her young age made it difficult for her to have much perspective. On the other hand, I recognize that Keplinger's age also gives a level of authenticity an older author can't. To whit: I had mixed feelings about this book.

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  6. I LOVED this book. Bianca was such an honest breath of fresh air, in all of her sarcastic glory. Nothing better than watching an arrogant guy meet his match! I thought she was fabulous. I can hardly wait for Kody's next novel.

  7. Crack the Code winners are up! :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse


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