Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Author: Kody Keplinger [Website]
Published: September 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy
Format: Hardcover, 280 pages
Source: Bought online at BookCloseouts.ca
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.
Cover Art: Love the bold yellow letters that just spark.
A typical high school. There are bullies, cheerleaders, nerds, goths, popular, and not popular. There are problems ranging from family to friends to relationships and lovers. Keplinger writes this book as a teenager for teenagers and it is a story that many can relate to.
Going through Bianca’s life with her as it happened was well-paced and very interesting. Her character was likeable (I like the sarcastic, going-against-the-grain personality) for the most part, however, there were some instances where her pride takes over. And although this is typical of many girls/humans in general, I just found it annoying. Wesley Rush is the typical hiding behind a facade type of guy. He’s a womanizing jerk who picks on Bianca in the beginning, but throughout the novel, as their relationship develops, we get to see a glimpses of his true self. Loved the dynamic between the two, their quips and conversations are entertaining and genuine. Bianca’s friends Casey and Jessica are also great characters. I’m glad they weren’t the typical back-stabbing jealous girlfriends that many blonde characters seem to be. They whole group’s friendship is realistic and straightforward; the events they go through together help the reader see that.
The overall story of Bianca’s life and the struggles she goes through are easy to relate to. Everyone has these types of issues and reading this book brings a positive light to the end of any aspect of life that seems difficult at the moment. This book is a great, fast read and draws you into the life of this teenaged girl and her friends.
Kody Keplinger on The Duff: