Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Title: The Duff
Author: Kody Keplinger
Page Count: 288 pages
Summary: "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."

What I Liked:

  • SEX! Maybe just because I'm still a teenager, but I love that this book didn't edge around the fact that teenagers do have sex. This always gets a big star from me because a lot of YA books like to think that the most teenagers do is kiss, which is obviously not true! 
  • Ugly Ducking Narrator? The main character isn't a beautiful girl who just doesn't know it, although she does realize near the end that she isn't as ugly as she thinks she is. I just liked that she wasn't absolutely gorgeous and just had low self-esteem like everyone else on the face of the YA-verse. 
  • Mmm, Man Whore! Enough said, Wesley sounded pretty gorgeous.

What I Didn't Like: (These are a little spoilery!)

  • Wesley? Although Wesley did sound pretty hot, I did not believe his transformation at all. I just felt like I didn't get a very good handle on his character and because of that, him liking Bianca besides what they had going on didn't make much sense to me. It seemed like a little fairytale.
  • Ehh... I'm hesitant to say this, but this whole book just seemed like a fantasy for the author. I know it's been said that it's awesome that Keplinger wrote the book in high school (go her, by the way! I wrote some but none were good enough to get published, not that I tried.) but it seemed like something that someone in high school would write. I don't mean to attack the author but that's just my point of view on it. I know the first novel I wrote was pure fantasy-fulfillment. Those are the best kinds because they're just for you! :) 
  • I just couldn't get into it! There are some books that just absorb you completely and you can't wait to get back to reading them when you're away from them. The DUFF was not one of those books. I wanted to read it, but I didn't have any sense of urgency.

Overall, I did enjoy The DUFF because it didn't skirt around the subject of sex and the narrator wasn't a gorgeous Mary-Sue. However, the novel did feel a little like fantasy fulfillment and I couldn't get into one of the main characters.

Overall: 3/5 stars

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