Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

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.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy

Plot: The plot of THE DUFF is simple, yet complicated at the same time. Its about a girl, Bianca, who is having a hard time. Her family is having some issues and it's complicated by friends and ex-boyfriends. She's under a lot of pressure - so what does she do? She falls into bed with Wesley, the man-slut. The guy who will fall into bed with anyone. I thought it was a little predictable for most of the book, and then about three-fourths of the way in I was hooked. I wanted to know the ending. And the hopeless romantic in me wanted them together so bad. I thought the ending was a little easy, but still enjoyable.

Characters: Bianca was a little hard for me to connect to. She and I have very different personalities, which may have been the largest factor. She would react violently differently in situations then I would, but that did make reading the novel a surprise for me. Wesley, however, is all worth it. Wesley is somehow charming and and utterly annoying at the same time. He was a very genuine character, and I loved Keplinger for it. Bianca's friends were oddly similar and different at the same time. Their loyalty was nice, but I was annoyed by the utter obliviousness of one.

Themes: Body issues are a large part of this novel. Everyone is painfully aware of their faults - just like in the real world. This is a novel that everyone can relate to in that way. Body issues are a tough thing in today's world where tiny runway models and skinny actresses are the women we have to look up to, that we hold up on pedestals. The way Keplinger handles these issues alone makes this book worth a read.

Overall: I'm going to give THE DUFF four of five stars. It took me a while to finally get into this book, but when I finally did, I was hooked for good. If you haven't read it, you should. I fully recommend it.


ashelynn sanford said...

I felt the same way! Great review. :)

Sarah Robertson said...

I really liked this book because I thought it was so relatable. I mean, maybe some of it was predictable . . . but I kind of feel that way in general when it comes to contemporary YA . . . which is why I don't write it . . . so maybe I'm not the best person to comment . . . but anyway! I thought that despite some predictability it still managed to seem real in relation to my teenage experience. Which I liked. A lot. :)

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