Saturday, June 18, 2011

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Published: September 2010 by Little Brown

My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance
Includes: Sexuality, Profanity, Brief Violence

First Lines: This was getting old. Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video.

Bianca Piper
is cynical, sarcastic, and snappy. One day while she's at a teen club with her two gorgeous best friends, the man-whore at her school sits down beside her. Wesley Rush. Just hearing his name makes Bianca's skin crawl. She hates him and is disgusted at the number of girls he's slept with. And to make matters worse, Wesley calls Bianca "The Duff", as in "Designated Ugly Fat Friend". His theory is that every group of girls has a Duff in it, to make themselves look better. Angry and hurt, Bianca reacts by throwing her soda in his face and storming out of the club. But the nickname continues to haunt her and slowly eats away at her self-esteem.

From page 12
Before crawling under my sheets, I took a glance at the full-length mirror across the room. I searched my reflection with new eyes, with new knowledge. Uncontrollable wavy auburn hair. A long nose. Big thighs. Small boobs. Yep. Definitely Duff material. How had I not known?

Bianca's home life is starting to crumble, too. Her mom, who is always traveling for work, is never home and it isn't soon that she files a divorce with Bianca's dad. Struggling for anything to take her mind off of her crappy home problems, Bianca does the unthinkable: she kisses Wesley. And then she starts sleeping with him. A whole lot. This is where the story started to unwind a little bit, in my opinion. First of all, Bianca literally can't stand Wesley and hates his guts. I'm trying to imagine myself in her shoes, and I would never come up with the idea of hate sex in order to run from my problems. Second of all, it isn't just a one time deal. Bianca starts sleeping with Wesley fives times a week! This is a bit ridiculous, especially for a girl who has only had one other boyfriend, when she was 14. The idea of sex to escape your problems and numb your mind was a new concept for me, and took some time getting used to. I definitely urge only mature readers to read this book because of the many sexual scenes and the crazy amount of profanity. Maybe it's just because I personally am against profanity, but I think the vulgar was out of control and could be taken down a notch because it was distracting and ugly.

I liked the diverse characters in the novel. The author developed them well and they weren't shallow or hollow. Each person played a part in the story, even the minor ones didn't feel like they were just fillers. There was also good emotion carried out in the book. I believed Bianca's feelings and they felt genuine. Bianca's character was pretty interesting: she was tough and ballsy on the outside, but a little gooey in the inside. She had depth to her and seemed like a very realistic teenager. Wesley, I grew to love. Sure he's a man-slut and will flirt with anything that has boobs, but eventually once you get to know him, he's pretty sweet. The book as a whole was very predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen after reading just a few chapters, yet it was still fun to watch it play out. I have strong pros and strong cons about this book so I'll just settle with three stars.

Cover Thoughts: It definitely catches your attention! I think the way the text is set up is interesting and unique. And I like how the model's eye shadow matches her bubble gum exactly.

Book Supplied by: Won in a contest.


  1. really cool reiview. I have only heard good things about this. so it nice to hear someone saying that is it good but it also has some bad in it too. really a good review. I really mean it. =]

  2. This one is sitting one my TBR shelf. I'm saving it for my vacation in August. It's one I think I can get lost in.

  3. I truly enjoyed The DUFF, but I'm with you that I don't quite think that it should be read by too young of an audience due to *content*. Yeah, once Bianca got involved she sorta dove off the deep end - almost too much so lol

  4. Ohhhh I actually have this one coming in the mail...or at least it should be, and I was actually really looking forward to reading it! However now that I've read your review, yes, I'm still going to read it but I'll keep an eye out for the things you mentioned...that's an awful lot of sex! :P

  5. I want to read this book! I've heard really good things and it sounds like an interesting concept. I'm a little put-off by that comment you made about the profanity though. Yeah, definitely not a fan of that. I'll still give it a shot though. Thanks for the review!

  6. I agree that it would be a book suited for older YA readers. I actually didnt mind all the profanity but that's just me. Now I'm looking forward to Keplinger's next book.

  7. That looks like a great read. I feel teens have a hard time with self-esteem. Fantastic review.

  8. I've heard mixed things about this book, which is why I've put off reading it. Character development is super important to me as a reader, so I'm glad that the minor characters played a role. This is on my TBR list, but it's not my top priority.

  9. I've had this one for awhile but hadn't been in a real hurry to read it. The reviews were a mixed bag so I had just laid it aside.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  10. I loved every single minute of The Duff. I still love it a lot.

    I know you gave it 3 stars but honestly I think this book deserves at least 4.7 stars..

    Kody Keplinger's writing is really solid.

    And she captures the teenage world perfectly. How we feel, how we express ourselves, how we talk, even how we make out.

    Plus, Bianca was really realistic. Most authors would have Bianca thinking, 'Ohmygod, I'm in love with Wesley!' But Bianca was like, 'I have feelings for Wesley. Real love takes quite a while.'

    I liked that about The DUFF.

    I hope you're going to check out Kody Keplinger's Shut Out.

  11. The reviews are mixed but this book doesn't appeal me. Especially a girl who sleeps around. Maybe one day I'll read it.

  12. I loved the book. Even though she had some of her morals totally askew but I loved her narration and Wesley was awesome. So in love with him!!!

  13. I love the book. Bianca is incredible cynical and sarcastic and Wesley is the cutest jackass :D. 5 STAR

  14. I so wanted to read this book. Because I do believe there is some truth in the DUFF concept. Besides I thought it might be like Thirteen Reasons Why or Before I Fall. But the sex part is a huge turn off. She is only 14. I doubt I'd like her as a protagonist.


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