Sunday, January 8, 2012

We are all DUFFs

The Duff
By: Kody Keplinger
Reported by: Julianna Helms

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.

-Summary from Goodreads
Barnes&Noble||Amazon||The Book Depository

There is something deeply refreshing and horrifying about The Duff. It's about a girl. About sex, about insecurity, but mostly, about the word how. I was addicted to this book. The Duff will shock you out of your numb membrane of a shell and introduce you to the ugly world of ours that has a way of aggravatingly, thankfully, impossibly remedying itself.

Bianca is sarcastic, perpetually annoyed, and always, always intelligent in both the philosophical and physical sense of knowing to never go near Mr. Wesley I-will-sleep-with-you-next Rush. But she's also the DUFF, according to Wesley--the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. And I want to clap Kody on the back and hug her and fist bump her, because she's right--every. body. feels. like. the. freakin'. DUFF. And though throughout the novel we see from Bianca's sole viewpoint, Kody incorporates the other characters' own personal struggle to accept themselves as they are subtly, realistically--brilliantly.

This book contains a lot of lascivious scenes, and quite the number of profanity. But they are not fancy, pointless scenes used to illustrate how teenage-like the protagonist is, a technique used so often nowadays. They are, in fact, a vital part to the story that makes you realize that some things just aren't what they seem. I was put off by some of the scenes at first--especially when I felt like they weren't necessary at the time. Considering some grotesque mood swings and sudden twists, I questioned the authenticity of Bianca's actions. But I found that after I finished the book, Bianca's actions didn't disgust the heck out of me. They didn't encourage anything. They didn't destroy anything. But they taught, they revealed something. And that something is this: You can be as insecure or as pretentious you are. You can pretend to be insecure or not pretend at all. You can pretend anything. But there are some things you can't pretend, and only insecurity can bring those things out from all of us--not because we need to be insecure, but because insecurity is necessary for us to correct the things we can't pretend.

Sometimes we don't see what's right in front of us. Sometimes we let the truth be swept up in a storm of lies. But if you join in on this journey with Bianca, you just might be able to change the weather forecast to something other than a facade of a storm.


  1. Your review was beautiful. Amazing. Truthful. And I loved it just as much as I loved this book! Every word you said was brilliant! I loved your review! :)

  2. Glad you enjoyed this one so much, Julianna!


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