Thursday, May 12, 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. (From GoodReads)

I loved The DUFF! I heard so many good things about it so I asked for it for Christmas (and yes, I am just getting around to it now). It definitely exceeded my expectations and I couldn't put it down!

Bianca isn't the average YA heroine. She isn't the mousy, quiet, shy, nice girl next door that is found all too often in YA contemporary. Bianca is loud, outgoing, cynical and sometimes a little abrasive. But those things make her real. She's also smart, funny, and totally loyal to her family and two best friends Casey and Jessica. I thought she was a great character.

Bianca is also having some trouble at home. Her mother is never around, and as a motivational speaker, she is always travelling all over the country. When divorce papers are mailed in, both Bianca and her father are blindsided. She will do anything not to think about her home life, so she begins a secret affair with popular playboy Wesley. What I liked about their relationship was that Bianca wasn't just sleeping with him for the fun of it. Well, kind of, but she truly wanted a distraction. Probably not the best reason to have a relationship with someone but I liked that Bianca's motives were clearly stated. And I thought this could be a good lesson about using words like "whore" or "slut" to describe someone. As Bianca learns, it's not fair to put those labels on someone when you truly don't know what their situation is. Bianca was a good person who didn't always make the best decisions, but that's okay.

All in all, I really enjoyed The DUFF. It was witty, funny, and had a good ending. Bianca grew and developed as a character, which is always important. And I must say, I was very impressed to learn that Kody Keplinger is the same age as me! Very cool.

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: Christmas gift.

2010/Poppy/288 pages.


We Heart YA said...

Yay, another fan! THE DUFF is one of my fave books. :)

We Heart YA said...

Yay! THE DUFF is one of our faves! And yes, isn't it amazing how young and talented Keplinger is? *jealous*

Ελλάδα said...

The DUFF is Kody Keplinger's story about when the typical high school hottie and the not so popular girl become enemies-with- benefits. Throughout the story you can't help but put yourself in the main character, Bianca's, shoes. Going through family issues is stressful enough, but falling for a guy that calls you Duffy can't exactly be easy, until that is, the boy you fall for ends up falling for you too. This book is extremely well written! The way Kody wrote made you feel as though you were in the story, and when Bianca hurts you hurt. Keplinger had the perfect amount of detail on most things without making you feel board or overloaded. I do wish though that she would have given more detail when it came to the aspect of Bianca's home life. Kody Keplinger tells it like it is, she doesn't sugar coat things. In high school all those things exist, like name calling, sex, fighting, friends with benefits, and people who don't have best home life. Keplinger wasn't afraid to address those key aspects of high school, and when she did, she did it perfectly.