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REVIEW: The Duff by Kody Keplinger


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.

About the Author

"I always felt like the 'ugly girl' in high school, so when I was introduced to the word during my senior year, I knew I was the Duff. The idea of writing a book with DUFF as the title started as a joke, but when I realized that my friends felt like Duffs, too, I knew I had to write this story." -Kody Keplinger on her inspiration for The DUFF, her debut novel. Kody is now eighteen and attending Ithaca College in New York where she's majoring in writing and finishing her second novel to be published by Poppy in Fall 2011.


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316084247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316084246


*** yes, some spoilers here ***

Bianca is a witty, snarky senior, her mother is a motivational speaker, her father works at a computer repair shop and they are not getting along.  She has extremely loyal friends that are both cheerleaders, blonde and gorgeous.  Well, according to Bianca they are, Jessica and Casey don't think that about themselves.  Welsey is the school heart throb and bad boy with a love em and leave em attitude.  When the two meet at the local all ages club, Wesley calls Biana Duffy and them explains exactly what it mean...Designated Ugly Fat Friend, Bianca reacts by throwing her drink in his face.  And thus begins a romantic entanglement that turns out to be something neither one of them planned.  Bianca is out to "use" Wesley for just one thing:  sex with no strings.

I am glad this book took on the issue of sex and love and how those actions impact teens today.   I don't think that teens are especially sexually active with AIDS and the spread of other STDs and this story actually says that if you are having sex, make sure it is safe.  I felt so sad for Bianca when her parents were breaking up.  Neither of them took her feelings into consideration and she didn't open up at all to her friends even when they asked and tried to push her for answers.  She instead retreats into what starts out as meaningless sex in order to fill the gap of her parents' love.  Except then the sex starts to mean something.

I really wanted to hate Wesley but found that he had the same endearing qualities as Bianca.  He was also trying to fix the loss of his parents (they traveled a lot) with sex.  Bianca called him a man whore which was probably appropriate, but she soon realizes she is just as bad as he is.  The whole premise of the Duff having sex the Hot Guy seems far fetched at first, but when you think about the size of the school (small) and they are such opposites, well, the whole thing just comes together and works.  This book is best suited for older teens since there is language and sexual situations.

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