Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 1st 2010
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (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.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out a way to adequately express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I loved it, actually. The DUFF is one of those books that surprised me, because I did not expect to like it this much.

The first thing that stood out while I was reading this book was how real the entire thing seemed. I felt like I myself was back in high school (thank God I wasn't!). The dynamics were all there, the relationships were there, everything that I remember high school to be was in this book. It might have to do with Keplinger's age while she was writing the book, but still, she had an amazing ability to capture all of that and put it on paper and make it seem genuine.

I adored Bianca and Wesley. Bianca is the type of girl that has a mildly bad time in high school. She's not the popular one or the pretty one. She doesn't fall for every line guys her age through at her, which I personally thought was awesome. She seems like the girl you'd deem "the crazy one", until you actually get to know her and understand her. I was so sad because of her family situation.

Wesley is a difficult guy to like at first. I didn't quite understand him in the beginning, but then certain scenes made me realize he is so not the guy I thought he was.Yes, he was always chasing girls, but what teenage boy doesn't? I liked how he respected Bianca's wishes and how he didn't try to push her to open up about what was bothering her. And eventually, like Bianca, I ended up liking him a lot.

There are so many good themes in this book: sex, alcohol abuse, bullying. And they are presented not in a preachy way, but in a natural, "shit happens sometimes" kind of way. However, the most important thing in my opinion, is when Bianca is shown that everybody has self esteem issues and that everyone has that something they don't like about themselves. That I think was the best lesson Bianca got in this book and that is why I loved The Duff so much.

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