Review of The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review of The DUFF by Kody KeplingerThe Duff by Kody Keplinger
Published by Hachette Digital, Inc. on 2010-09-07
Genres: Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 300
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on 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 “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.

The premise of The Duff by Kody Keplinger is that Bianca is the DUFF of her circle of friends according to Wesley, this guy she meets in a teen club. DUFF meaning designated ugly fat friend. Interwoven throughout the novel are issues Bianca must deal with such as self-esteem, weight, alcoholism, and expression of sexuality.

I didn’t like the writing style of The DUFF at first. Mainly because an action would occur, then it would be explained. I.e. Bianca stabbed Wesley with a pen. She was angry. She was enraged. Perhaps my tastes have evolved, so this is not really my sort of thing. Maybe, I just prefer to be trusted to understand what is going on.

Unfortunately, Bianca spends much of the book pissed off. She’s jealous of skinny girls. If she sees a certain guy talking to a skinny girl, I noticed she’d call the girl names. Then she wants to ‘kill’ Wesley. Then she’s pissed at her mom. She’s very hot and cold which does irritate me. I guess I’m past those teenage hormones.

However, certain elements of The DUFF by Kody Keplinger trumped my distaste. I emotionally connected with The DUFF. I read this on the bus back from BEA and I had to dart my eyes around to make sure no one could see me getting misty-eyed. I’ll admit, certain scenes felt real and like such, were an emotional punch in the gut.

I loved that despite the sexual choices Bianca made, there was no slut shaming. She was never punished for getting her love on. Rather, it was a conscious decision and she seemed quite in control of her actions.

Clearly, this is upper YA as there are lots and lots of swears and sexying. I didn’t love it, but maybe you will, so ….



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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Book Crazy Jenn says

    Aww, it sounds soo good, I cant wait to read it. Great review, misty huh those kinds of books always get me!

  2. Awesome review. As for the writing, I don't think it's a reading level thing but just an author style thing. Isn't Kody young? Like still in high school? Hopefully she'll grow out of it. But the book sounds good nonetheless.

  3. I think it must be my age, but this book just does not appeal to me at all. I like YA a lot, but both from the premise and from the excerpts read at BEA, this is a complete no-thanks for me. I think it's amazing that Kody's got a book out at her age, though. That's really awesome.

  4. This one looks interesting! Thanks for having the giveaway. 🙂

  5. Fun! Thanks for the giveaway. Love the cover, lol.

  6. Aw, man, I'm disappointed! I've really been looking forward to this book. The things you say make sense though and I'd probably feel the same way. I still plan on reading it before the release date though.

  7. Jenn (Books At Midnight) says

    Thanks for the honest review! Perhaps partially due to the fact that I'm a teen, the premise really appealed to me, though I'm not a fan of hot-and-cold characters either… Ah well, I guess I'll have to read it and see. I'm glad there were still some parts you enjoyed. 🙂

    And thank you for the great giveaway!

  8. Caroline Starr Rose says

    I watched Kody (through Absolute Write) sign with Joanna and quickly sell her book. I'd love to read this.

  9. Thanks for the honest review! I just signed up for a tour for this one, I'm kind of hesitant now.

  10. Thanks for the giveaway!I'm in love with the book after reading your review!

  11. Great review! I'm sorry you didn't like it as much. This book is the top of my wishlist!

  12. Oh, I was expecting a little bit more of this book, but still I want to read it.

    Thanks for the review!

  13. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Good review, I like your honesty! Unfortunately that would really annoy me as well, so I don't think I'll enter the contest.

    I kind of find it funny how some people are saying the book sounds great from your review… I wonder… did they read the whole review or just the last couple paragraphs? 😉

    Anyway, nice review, it's cool of you to make this international, yay you 🙂

  15. Lovely critical review! I'm looking forward to reading this one.

  16. great review! wow she stabbed someone w/ a pen…bipolar ish lol 😀
    Can't wait 2 read it!

  17. I think maybe I could love this. I'm not sure about the sound of the writing style but I do like it when a book make you realy *feel*. Interesting review.

  18. Awesome review! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  19. Great review!!! Can't wait to read.
    Tnks for the giveway.

  20. I didn´t know you had a blog! That´s nice, looks good 🙂

  21. Thanks for the cool goveaway!!

  22. thanks for the chance

  23. Debbie F says

    Please include me! Thanks

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

  24. Thanks for the giveaway.

  25. Better Not Be Bashin' Skinny Girls (Again) says

    Uh, I was bullied badly in high school for being very very thin, and those bullies were always F.A.T. G.I.R.L.S. Now, I was thinking about reading this because the author’s young age got me interested. She got published! Yay! But if this is just going to be another ‘let’s blame all thin girls because we’re fat’ manifesto then I don’t want to waste my time. I want to read something intelligent, not a bash fest (you said Bianca sees some guys talking to thin girls and calls those girls names. Why?) Anyway, I may check this out anyway. I”m curious to see how Keplinger tackled the romance genre. I’m not a real fan of romance but still curious about this one. Thank you for the view.


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