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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review: The DUFF

     The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)


Title:
 
The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Series: None
Pages: 343
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: April 5th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 stars
100 Book challenge: #6


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.


In 2011 I read The DUFF and absolutely adored it. When I was given the opportunity to review it I was ecstatic to read this wonderful novel again. I will post my original review and share my views on the book after my second reading.
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I really enjoyed The DUFF. I hadn’t planned on reading it for a while but it kept calling to me so in the end I gave in. I read the whole thing from start to finish, not once putting it down. It was that good.

I loved the whole message throughout the novel. I think everyone has felt like the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) at least once. I know I have on more than one occasion. The message really stuck the whole way through and it was really central to the plot.

Bianca was awesome. Sarcastic, witty and catty. She isn’t someone I should like but I couldn’t help but love both her strength and her vulnerability. She was very sure of herself and confident on the outside and whilst she genuinely is confident she, like every girl, has insecurities which are made worse by Wesley, resident manwhore of her school.
I heart Wesley. I know. Sure, he was a complete bastard jerk but he grew throughout the novel and became incredibly sweet and just pure perfection. Definitely my favourite character.

The thing I loved about the characters was that they are so real. They were just teenagers. I felt like I could know them in real life. The plot also felt realistic, though I don’t know if it is.

Now lets talk about sex. There is sex in this book. If you hate sex stay away. There is quite a bit of sex. However, I thought it was tastefully done despite the fact that the reason why they were having sex wasn't overly so. It wasn’t unnecessarily graphic and wasn't off putting (for me anyway).

I’m not a prude and I know some teenagers have sex. I can accept this, being a teenager myself. If I heard about a girl doing this in my school I would roll my eyes and judge. This book, however, completely changed my mind. I am not saying that I agree with Bianca using sex as a distraction for her problems, especially with a guy that she hated. I can understand why she did it though. Kody Keplinger managed to get me to sympathise with a character than in real life I would judge. She has
 mad skills.

The writing was great. It was intense and raw and just real. It wasn't flowery or overly descriptive it just told it like it was. Bianca’s voice was very distinctive and gripping.

Kody also managed to address a lot of issues in addition to sex and self esteem. There were mentions of divorce and alcoholism and she also touched slightly upon the aftermath of sex.

I really like the ending. It felt really fitting and true to the novel and the characters. It wasn’t overly sweet and unrealistic. It had the right amount of cute and realism.

That is basically all I have to say. It rocked. I want to read it again, like, right now. I am off to go flick through and find my favourite bits!

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The DUFF was just as good the second time round. Kody is a really talented author and isn't afraid to tackle difficult issues. The DUFF will always be a book I can just pick up when I need to read something great. It will always have a home on my bookshelf.

4 comments:

  1. THE DUFF!?! My friend rants incessantly about how good this book is. And you say its great. I must get to reading it. :p

    ReplyDelete
  2. AHHH, THIS IS ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITES. And let's be real, the sex is a definite PLUS PLUS PLUS factor. Wesley is delicious asshole rake with quiet, really well-masked vulnerability. Honestly, he's one of my favorite types of boys. Bianca is fabulous, she's snarky and funny because of it, and I adored her. The story was fun. Oh, yeah, this such a great read. SO GLAD TO HEAR YOU LOVED THIS ONE.

    Asher

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love how real Bianca is. Some people would call her constant self-deprecating thoughts and comments immature and unnecessary, but you know what? Bianca IS immature. She's a teenager. She's real. And most teenagers can be immature. At least. that's how I acted when I was a teenager. It's not enough for somebody to just say "you're beautiful, stop being down on yourself." It doesn't work like that. And Kody captures Bianca's journey of constantly bashing herself to finally being content in her own skin flawlessly. I applaud you, Kody.

    Other than the obvious issues of sex and self-esteem, The DUFF is highly entertaining. It's comical and flirty and it's the only book that I've read that has a slutty albeit secretly emotional male character. Boys like Wesley did not exist in my high school, but for this book, I pretended that they did. Wesley's character was a perfect aide in Bianca's quest for happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have a nice review! Here's mine: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-duff-designated-ugly-fat-friend-by.html

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

    -lor

    ReplyDelete

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