Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Author: Kody Keplinger
Genres: YA | Contemporary | Chick Lit
Published: September 7th 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy

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 “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out 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 a way, I was looking forward to The Duff. It's always nice to read about a character who does not look like a cover model figure (and mostly doesn't even realize it). I went in for a female character who has the potential to become what all teens in the world should aim to become, a girl who is happy with herself, does not care whether she is The Duff or not and uses her brains in all situations.

 So, no. I won't say the message behind the book is good, since it pretty much means: Listen to what a manwhore says, let it plague your mind, worry about it and also have sex with that manwhore!

 And if you don't take the message behind the book into action, it's an okay book.

 Seventeen-year-old Bianca is The Duff among her friends. This discovery was made when the school's biggest manwhore labels her this. She responds by splashing coke on his ugly little jerk of a face. Hell yeah! Naban approves. So does she continue treating him for the ugly little jerk that he is? Does she continue being so freaking fantabulous? Erm, no.

 The DUFF stands for the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Bianca starts worrying a lot and it effects her self-esteem severely. That is understandable but honestly, not something I would expect from, I quote, "a girl too smart.." Are you seriously going to listen to the school's biggest manwhore? Dude, that guy's dinkle ding is worn out from overuse. That's where I questioned her intelligence.

  I hated Bianca very much. She was overly cynical and most of all took her friends for granted. I'm tired of books where the main character seems to be the only girl with the capability to think and the others are just "OMGing" their way everywhere and being girls as what people view them for.

 P.S. you don't go around having sex with "a person who gives you the creeps" I also suspect the percentage of fat involved when it came to her being The DUFF. I'm pretty sure Bianca had one of those curvy bodies. I'm almost sure it was intended because our standard of "fat" has evolved very much. However, I still think the story would have spoken up more if Bianca was legitimately fat because I'm positive she wasn't so. (Can we count the times Rush picks her up so easily?)

  Wesley Rush, the manwhore was everything you'd expect in a manwhore. What made the whole thing unrealistic was his transformation after her started spending time with Bianca. Habits take a lot of time to break, and I'm not - so not buying that Bianca cleansed him with her love or something. The bad-boy-with-problems who is miraculously cured by good-girl-who-is-'ugly' is so overused anyway.

  I hate the premise behind the book. Sure, a lot of people do have casual sex so they can forget about their problems. But this novel literally screams that the answer to everything is sex. Before you think that it's because I'm too young for this stuff, fine, I'm not in the best position to say that but I have a piece of mind too, and sex is not the answer (unless the problem is that you're horny in which case, go ahead.) Why not teach us, teens to deal with problems some other way? Hobbies? Travelling? Friends? Anything that does not risk teen pregnancy!

  All we can do is hope that The Duff does not start to shine through like TFIOS. We don't want 50% of the teenage population to change from acting like clone figures of Augustus and Hazel to acting like Bianca where the answer to every question is their sexual organs.

 Otherwise, I enjoyed the book. Although Rush was mostly an asshole who needed a good old slap, he had his sweet moments. Likewise, the book had its moments here and there where I truly enjoyed it. I liked Bianca's friends.

  In conclusion: If you aren't going to dig too deep into the matter, you might want to try this one.