Being a fan of Keplinger's Sophomore novel, Shut Out, I picked up The DUFF expecting a fun, fluffy, adolescent "chick lit" read. It was great.
One of my favourite aspects of Keplinger's writing is the frankness of it. She doesn't beat around the bush with mysterious and eluding adjectives and odd metaphors. Now that doesn't mean that she goes into plain, clinical detail about every little aspect of the book in a meticulous manner; she doesn't.
In fact, Keplinger's writing is enjoyable to read and easy to absorb, not having you needing to re-read sentences in confusion. She gives you details; enough to keep you at exactly the right perspective; it's not an under detailed or "oh my gosh, I can't believe that you just went into that much detail" type of novel; Keplinger has skillfully covered the topic of sex well in both her books. To put it simply, it's not weird or awkward.
I loved the concept, great fun, something that is a topic among teenagers and was well addressed by Keplinger. The book has a fluffy top layer, but if you choose to read into it, it does have some themes that appear in the end such as friendship and relationships, honesty, the social "norm" and, of course, sex.
An escapist, summer read, The DUFF should be on your to-read list. If you're female, 12 or older, then trust me, you won't put it down!
"...Keplinger scores a first for a genre in which vampires and dystopian futures rule. Her snarky teen speak, true-to-life characterizations and rollicking sense of humor never cease in her debut. Teen readers will see both themselves and their friends in Bianca's layered, hostile world."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Kudos to the 18-year-old Keplinger for writing a heroine whose complicated relationship with sex is honest and heartbreaking. This for-more-mature teens novel deftly illustrates how even consensual sex can be emotionally destructive, and captures thoughts about self-image and the many different types of relationships. Expect to be recommending The Duff to friends for years to come."
— Romantic Times Top Pick, 4 Stars
"I really appreciate what The Duff stands for as a book. For me, that is really what makes it such a recommended read. There isn’t enough YA that combines a fun tone of voice with serious discussions on sex positivity."
The Authors Website here and her blog here
@ Belle's Bookshelf
@ Persnickety Snark
@ YA Reads
@ Dear Author