Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Hardcover, 277 pages
Date Published: September 7, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
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 "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that 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.

Every girl in the history of the world has, at one point or another, felt like the DUFF – the designated ugly fat friend; That one girl in a group of friends who feels like she just doesn’t compare to the rest. That is exactly how 17 year old Bianca Piper feels and as her home life comes crashing down, she needs an escape, a way to forget about all the bad things happening to her. Wesley Rush – womanizing, jackass Wesley Rush – becomes that escape.

Kody Keplinger has perfectly captured the insecurities that all women have. Her writing is witty, sarcastic, hilariously funny, and perfectly executed. Bianca is easy to relate to and I could even understand her situation and why she keeps going back to Wesley. And Wesley – he’s a jackass, but he’s a funny jackass. His cockiness and the banter that goes on between him and Bianca is a blast to read. Then, there’s Bianca’s best friends: Jess and Casey are wonderful, Casey especially. They are the best friends that every girl wants and should have. I loved them both.

This book is everything I’d hoped for and then some. Bianca is intelligent, strong, fierce in that ‘I’ll give you a verbal beatdown’ kind of way, yet she is wholly and entirely flawed. She has sex, repeatedly, with a guy who called her a Duff – with someone who tears her down all the time with a degrading nickname. All the time she spends with Wesley makes her open up to him, and him to her. The two aren’t really that different from one another and maybe, just maybe there could be some feelings other than hatred and lust there.

Aside from Bianca’s complicated and illicit after school activities, she has to cope with a mother who abandoned her and a father that seriously cannot cope. After 18 years of sobriety, a sudden divorce sends her father on a downward spiral and sooner or later, Bianca’s dysfunctional home life and her dysfunctional relationship begin to crash together. The ending is somewhat predictable, but getting there is the best part.

The Duff is a snarky and heartfelt novel that delves into issues of insecurities, self-esteem, and casual sex, but does it without overwhelming the reader. Innuendos line the pages, but the story is heartfelt and real. Bianca could be me, she could be you, she could be any girl in the world and that’s what makes this story truly shine.

Opening line: This was getting old.
Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: “No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.” ~ pg. 126-126
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
 
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8 comments:

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

This one sounds really good! I think it's good to have books out there that address insecurities, since so many of us have them! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

Melissa said...

Great review, Nikki! I've wanted to read this one for a while, but I'll admit that the topic of casual sex and such tends to irritate me in YA fiction, which is why I keep putting it off. However, maybe I'll give it a go now. :)

BrittLit said...

I loved how snarky Bianca was. Great review.

kapri said...

I actually reading this right now. I wasn't really enojoying the first half, but it's getting better. I"m glad you liked it, though! Great review!

Bere said...

Excellent review, Nikki! I have to admit that I was not so sure about this one, but now with your review, you've just convinced me to give it a try. Love your favorite line, Nikki. So true. Thanks so much for your review! =)

Alyssa@Teens Read and Write said...

This isn't my usual read but I've heard good things about it. Glad you enjoyed it! The favorite line reminds me of one of my dad's favorite sayings, "No matter where you go, there you are." In other words, you can't run away from yourself.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I was honestly very surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. I hope all of you have the chance to read it.

Melissa - The casual sex aspect is a VERY large part of the story, but it's done in a way where Bianca knows that it's probably not the best thing for her and she goes from there.

Alyssa - Your dad sounds like a wise man =)

carmenpaigee said...

Sounds like a good read!

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