December 22, 2011

REVIEW: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Downing Cherry Cokes and watching her two best friends hoof it out on the dance floor of the local teen club doesn’t make 17-year-old Bianca Piper feel good about herself. Especially when high-school man-slut Wesley Rush tells her she's the Duff, her friends’ "designated ugly fat friend," and tries to cozy up to her in order to get into her friends’ pants. Later on, somehow, someway, Bianca finds herself drawn to Wesley, and before she knows it, they’ve created a complex, enemies-with-benefits relationship that the YA market has never seen before. Their encounters are heatedly frank and full of humor, anger and rage, and soon the two learn they have more in common than they could ever have expected. Kirkus Reviews

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

Other Reviews:
@ Belle's Bookshelf
@ Persnickety Snark
@ YA Reads
@ Dear Author


REBECCA@ReadingWishes said...

Glad you liked it! I really need to read this!! :)

Ελλάδα said...

At the beginning I was kind of frustrated, because Bianca behave like an EMO girl all the time and I totally don't understand why she couldn't be normal, affective.

And then I was involved in Bianca's issues: her absent mother, her devote father, her low self-esteem (something we all got) and the one that make me grin through the book several times: her new sex toy.

I found Wesley pathetic at the beginning; as you could see, I didn't like the first pages of The Duff.

The family drama made me cry. I have a SOB father, so when I read those pages, where the author explain the Bianca's father misery, I was broken-heart in that instant too.

Loraine said...

You have a nice review! Here's mine:

Thank you very much, have a nice day! :)


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