Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little, Brown
Date: September 7, 2010
Rating: 4/5
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.

When I first saw this book and read the summary, I was a little cautioned about reading it. One: I'm a 19 year old guy. Two: Now that I'm in college, I try to stay away from high school drama. Though after reading it, I have a whole new perspective on what this book was about. It wasn't about a girl who finds herself out to be the "Duff" (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) and tries to make everyone believe otherwise, though that's what the title leads you to believe. This book is about the acceptance of yourself and others though they might be just as screwed up as you are. You don't need to put others down just to make yourself feel better than them.

We've all screwed up in life and we've all felt bad about our appearance or how others see us, but we can know that everyone goes through that. Its like puberty. No matter how hard you try. No matter how much cream, lotion, or prescription meds you take, you can't run away from it. You can't escape from life like Bianca tried. You can do all you can to distract yourself from it, but your problems will never go away. Face cream might make you think your acne is going away, but its only masking what's underneath. It will make you feel more attractive once it starts to work, but only until you start seeing more and more blemishes.

Bianca's "drug" in this book is a cauldron of thoughts and feelings, boiling mass chaos until one day, she finds herself thinking and feeling differently toward what was only supposed to be an escape. So no matter what you think of yourself as or what others think of you, don't let it get under your skin. Accept your self. Sing "I am beautiful" like Mercedes from Glee if you have to. Know that we all go through the same struggles and self-esteem problems, even the "beautiful people". Its life. So just take it by the reins and ride it out.

First, I wanna say "Congrats!" to Kody for her first published novel. And second, well, lets just talk about Kody right now . . . This girl is 18-years old and already has her first book out! Un-freaking-believable! For all those young wanna-be writers coming from the blogging world or wherever, look to Kody as inspiration for what you can accomplish if you try hard enough. You might get pushed away by some who might not see your book as "marketable" or whatever, but if its a message or theme you want to get out there, Then GET IT OUT THERE! Spread the word, get others excited about it, let publishers know that's what the public teens want when it comes to books! I know if me or my brother had a book we wanted published, we would do all we could (legally, of course) to get it out in the hands of others. So kudos to Kody on getting her's published and also getting her first professional review from Romantic Times! Check it out on her blog. If you can get your hands on an ARC like me, I suggest you read it fast. If not, then you only have about a month to wait until it hits stores, so don't be jealous. I promise you that you won't put it down.


  1. great review! looks like a book i can relate to :)

  2. Wow, that is amazing about Kody--I can't wait to read this one!

  3. Agreed with what Brooke says.. sounds like a book I would relate too. Can't wait for this one.

  4. I just reviewed The Duff and had an interview with Kody on my blog this week. It's an amazing first novel - I really hope everyone reads it!! SOOO good.
    Loved your review too.

  5. I am so sad I missed out on this one when I was in NY for BEA.

  6. I really can't wait to read The DUFF! :)

  7. I just finished reading this too and it's definitely a book everyone, not just girls, can relate to. I've added a new word to my vocabulary..DUFF.... who doesn't feel like The Duff every once in awhile.
    Great review Jeffrey!

  8. going to buy it. I know I'm so out dated for I never into reading novels before. Hope it'd in my fresh 2012 A-list  ..