Sunday, February 27, 2011
Review: The Duff
Author: Kody Keplinger
Synopsis (from Amazon): 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.
The Duff surprised me. It was a story completely different from what I was expecting, and it was awesome.
Bianca was a character I loved right away. She was cynical, bitter, but also smart and loyal. She was a true character with a real life that didn't completely suck, but wasn't so easy either. She had her faults and insecurties, and was overall very relatable for me. She was also clever and witty and her dialogue was hilarious. It was a treat to read from her perspective.
Best of all? She actually swore. A lot. I'm in no way a potty mouth, but what surprises me is how little swearing there are in books about high school students. High school student swear— a lot. Even the people who don't swear much occasionally get mad and do it at least once a week. That made Bianca so much more real. I could easily imagine her as a student at my high school. That level of reality makes me wonder why I don't read more contemporary novels. *I really should and will*
The story was about being a duff. I actually never heard the word before the book, but once I heard it, I completely understood what it meant (out of a group of friends, being the insignificant, least special). The story did an amazing job at showing what a duff is. Of course, it was against the word and the implications.
While reading The Duff, I thought Bianca was really cool. So were her friends. None of them were "duffs". I was explaining this book to a close friend of mine (who kindly pretends to be interested in my bookish obsessions) and she said that she was the duff in our group of friends. I was surprised because she was so pretty and everyone likes her. It made the message of the story so much more true. Everyone feels like a duff sometimes.
The plot of the story wasn't super shocking. I mean, by reading the synopsis, everything that happened was pretty much expected but it was still an engaging read. When I got this book, I couldn't stop reading. It's written really well, as if it were real. All the characters had dimension, and Bianca's reactions to everything was so real again.
This is getting to be a long review, so I'll just cut to the chase. This book has a lot in it. It's not simple. It's not as cute as it looks. It has some very sexy scenes, and it has a new literary crush of mine. I would reccomend this to anyone who ever felt like the duff or ever ran away from their problems.
The Duff is a brilliant story of insecurities, families, love, and the power of words. This story is just something I loved personally because the plot is everything I like in a book, so I'm rating this two ways.
My inner fangirl: ***** LOVE IT!
The more cautious reviewer: **** A great book. ;)
Whatever it is, I reccomend at least trying The Duff out.