{Review} The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

April 7, 2015 Book 10 ★★★★★

{Review} The DUFF by Kody KeplingerThe DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fiction, Friendship, Humor, Love & Romance, Media Tie-In, Social Issues, Young Adult
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 7th 2010
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five-stars

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.

The Duff is the kind of book that tackles situations and feelings a lot of teens can relate to, even myself. The book starts off by stating that Bianca, our main character, is the DUFF in her friends circle, but by the end we know that every once in a while, all of us feel the same way and it’s okay. I really liked how a lot of these things put up front felt very real with a character such as Bianca. She was cynical, sassy, bitchy, smart, but also sweet and caring of the people she cared about. She and I would be real life pals.

From the first chapter we know something is up with Bianca and manwhore Wesley Rush when he first calls her the DUFF, and how he would use this to his advantage to get laid by a friend of Bianca’s. But she manages the situation perfectly with straight up humiliation for Wesley and flipping him off. I couldn’t stop laughing or giggling at every situation these two were present because as mismatched as they might seem at first, they make a good couple for each other. None of all this mushy romantic love, and it felt refreshing.

One thing that bothered me in this book was the parental situation with Bianca. Her mom had left and her dad was relapsing into old alcoholic habits from before she was even born. This is the fourth or fifth book I’ve read with similar elements of the mom leaving the dad and the dad becoming a mess before he realizes his mistake at abandoning the kid in the first place. However, it was great to see how the author dealt with this all-too-well-known problem a lot of teens face these days and how realistic things happened. No sugar coating of it, just raw and sincere on how divorce can affect both the parents and the kid (s).

Which brings me to the other thing of this book I liked. You can run away as much as you want but your problems will catch up with you sooner or later. Bianca doesn’t realize she’s doing this at first when she starts meeting up with a certain someone in secret in a search for total forgetfulness of her problems at home and insecurities with the source of half those problems, Wesley. Oh Wesley… The man is a total player and manwhore, but he’s also super sweet, funny, smart, charming, sexy… Both he and Bianca, eventually, face their own problems with their families and themselves by the end of the book before it ends… perfectly romantic. I mean, every girl, even cynical bitchy ones want one of those, specially if a Wesley is included.

The DUFF was a really great book in general. I haven’t watched the movie yet so I don’t know how they change things there, but this book is a great depiction of how being a teen might be in this age. Drama here and drama there even when we don’t look out for it. Friendships might be ruined and families torn if we succumb to the temptation of running away. There will come a moment when we have to face reality and deal with it. We can harm ourselves if we let the hateful comments of others affect us, too. Only your thoughts matter when it comes to your self-image and how you feel about it; fuck the world if they think you should look this way or the other. A great read for everyone looking for something quirky and inspiring if you’re going through the harsh teenage years or want to reminisce on those already gone.

Rating: 5 stars

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I'm Jennifer, addicted reader, lover of books, and aspiring author. I babble too much when I write and like to procrastinate work with other work 🙂
  • I loved this, too when I first read it. But as the years go by, and I revisit it, the more the title bothers me. I don’t know. If I were to review this book now, I probably would say the opposite of what I said in the past.

  • I haven’t read this book because I was worried the main character would have fake, bitchy friends but in the movie trailer, it doesn’t seem so. I enjoy a good enemies to lovers romance though so I might just have to check it out. Your five star rating is definitely pushing me to read this! Awesome review! 🙂

    • jmmbookworm

      I’m glad you’ll give it a chance! <3 And I had the same fears about the bitchy friends. I'm not sure about the movie since I haven't seen it and they changed a few things there (ahem, a lot). BUT in the book, Bianca's friends were fiercely caring, protective thoughtful, and overall awesome of each other. The complete opposite of your typical high school bitch lol.

  • shootingstarsmag

    I really loved this one too. I’m glad you enjoyed it – I need to re-read it I think!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • jmmbookworm

      Awesome! 🙂

  • Karen

    I loved this book. I read it when it first came out years ago but I want to do a re-read soon.

    It was fun, realistic and swoony!

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • Totally agree with how refreshing it was not to have all that corny romance but something more realistic and passionate! Something that actually took them both for surprise.

    I’ve seen the movie and I liked it but it is completely different from the book. They changed a lot about Bianca’s homelife and stuff AND her relationship with Wesley is drastically different. I think it’s best to look at them as two entirely different things, more like the movie is ‘inspired’ by the book, rather than based on it

    • jmmbookworm

      Talk about unexpected when it came to Bianca and Wesley haha

      And a friend of mine told me the same, that it was loosely based on the book and to not get my hopes up about it but instead see it as something entirely different from the book. But thanks too for the headsup! Even with that I’m quite desperate to see it and how Wesley’s and Bianca’s relationship is there. Thanks for reading and sharing 🙂

  • This book sounds really fantastic with some great characters, I mean Bianca sounds like she’s a really cool chick to get to know. Wesley as well being a manwhore, but he sounds like fun. I’ve heard great things about the movie too! Great review Jennifer.

  • Oh, wow! I haven’t read this book, and I’ve never really had a HUGE interest in it before … but this review is so lovely, Jennifer, I think I may be closer to picking up this book than I was before. It sounds like it had a big impact on you, and that it touched on a lot of real to life subjects. I love contemporaries that are true to life, and not just a fantasy story with no fantasy elements (if that makes sense).