But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, 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.
As a person, Bianca can be a bit grumpy, yet funny. She looks at the world in her own way. She’s pretty much that awkward person who trips over her own feet in crowded hallways, but also knows how to ‘not care’ about it. At least, that’s what she thinks. She’s running away from her troubles at home, right into the wide open arms of Wesley. At first, one might ask why she’d do that. But the book elaborates her struggles and inner demons perfectly. Wesley makes her feel admired yet he keeps calling her the DUFF. The book really knows how to depict the life of a real high school student.
Wesley is a character who at first looks like a not so nice person. He’s making Bianca feel like crap but at the same time keeps hanging on to her, even though he knows he could get any girl he wants. However, he doesn't want to let Bianca go. His life unfolds slowly through the eyes of Bianca. Once you get to know him, you’ll feel sorry for him and love him. He's more complex than you'd expect of him. Of course, he’s acting like a heartless monster at first, but he’s been through some tough stuff. It’s heartbreaking to read about his family not approving of him and his decisions.
The world Keplinger creates is perfect for the story. The settings of the high school and the homes (and bedrooms) they spend time in make it all feel very real. This story doesn’t need a fairy tale ambiance. It needs reality; teenage reality.
I do think the book could use some subtlety at the end. There’s a couple of pages that could be in a ‘how to be a good girl’ manual. It’s a bit of a morality speech. It fits in the book, honestly, but it could be toned down. It sends a brilliant message which every girl should read, understand and believe, but like I said, subtlety does it.
The DUFF is a hilarious, real, lovable story about a teenager trying to fit in, figuring out what to do with her fighting parents while falling in love with the wrong boy. I think every teenager who loves romantic comedies with a twist will fall in love with The DUFF like I did. It has everything and more. You will laugh and cry at the same time. At the end I found myself hoping that everybody’s body image will, maybe, someday, get better. Because the issue that’s depicted in The DUFF is real and should be talked about more. You will adore this story.
For the first few chapters of the book, I was like this is cute, but I don’t get why everyone just completely raves about it. I guess that should be a rule – Never underestimate Kody Keplinger. Soon, I was not able to put down The Duff for a moment. I just had to know what was going to happen next and how everything would fall into place.
I loved the focus on friendship in The Duff. Bianca, Jess, and Casey are such great friends, and so much of the book was solely focusing on that, which was awesome. I loved Casey - she was so funny. The plot of The Duff is seriously so much fun. There were so many moments where I sat her aw-ing, because I am pretty certain nothing could get more adorable.
Bianca was a character that I think every girl can relate to in some way. Over the course of the book Kody Keplinger sends a really positive message to girls. Wesley, oh Wesley. When I started reading, I sat there thinking to myself “He is not on my favorite boy list. What a jerk!” That shortly changed, and Wesley is definitely on my top list of book boys. I just loved him. He was such a complex character with such an interesting story.
The Duff is one awesome book from Kody Keplinger. I did not want to put it down – I was so caught up in the story. With this book, Kody Keplinger has added herself to the list of authors I will read anything they write. The Duff was just an amazing book, and if you haven’t read it yet, don’t delay. You’ll regret it :) Basically, I just loved this book so so much, and cannot wait to see what Kody Keplinger whips up next.
Ironically, I was just saying to a friend of mine that I enjoy reading YA books because they usually lack the sex and foul language of some Adult books but this one made me retract that comment within the first few pages. I realize they're main stream teens though.
I thought the main characters, Bianca and Wesley, even Casey were strong, well written and believable. In fact, I was surprised at how well I related to Bianca and her "Duff" feelings even though I've been out of high school for a few years. (I often felt like I was always the "BFF of the pretty girl") I thought that the author did a great job of showing that nothing and no one is exactly what they seem, from the outside anyway and that often times, we don't see ourselves as we really are. I liked that despite their differences, Bianca and Casey's friendship stood the test of time. Casey is the kind of lifelong BFF anyone would wish to have!
Bianca and Wesley's "relationship" if you can call it that is messed up right from the start and while it's obvious they are only using each other to fill a void, they do have redeeming qualities. They both are loyal to and protective of their family and friends, they keep each others secrets when it would seem they could easily wound one another by spreading them around school and they make amends for their mistakes.
The old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." is so not true, especially when those words come from boys in regards to a girl's appearance. Girls need to be nice as well.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this book. Was it going to entertain me? Was it going to offend me? Would it do both? Could I root for Bianca to be with someone who would call her a Duff? Well, I wasn’t offended, I was entertained, and yes, I could get behind Bianca and Wesley.
Bianca was a character I really enjoyed. She was cynical and very often the voice of reason for her friends, even if she couldn’t be that for herself. She put on a touch act but underneath, she was afraid of being judged. She had great interactions with her two best friends, and even when there were some problems between them, they still cared about each other. It was nice to see those girls as friends. Wesley took a while to warm up to, after all he kept calling Bianca a Duff like it was no big deal, but the more he revealed of himself, the more I liked him. The banter between him and Bianca was hilarious and they definitely had chemistry.
I also liked that it wasn’t strictly just as high school drama. Bianca had problems at home that she had to deal with so we saw some of her parents’ problems as well. And the insecurity Bianca felt about not being as pretty as her friends was an issue that doesn’t end with high school graduation(unfortunately). She made some huge mistakes and I didn’t always agree with her way of handling things but I could buy into her reacting the way she did. Some people face problems head on, some do everything they can to avoid them.
The message behind The Duff was important but I felt it came across as a bit heavy-handed at times. It was a little too ‘lesson of the week’ that we get from TV shows, the lessons where the more they push it at the audience, it easier it is to ignore. I would have also liked to see Bianca’s friends Jess and Casey have more development. They were good friends but it never felt like I got to know much about them.
Overall, it was a fast read with a good message but some of the characters lacked depth and it was predictable.
What made the book so enjoyable was the characters, especially the leads. The romance between Bianna and Wesley was so entertaining. I could not put the book down because I wanting to know what would happen next. If they will admit their feelings or just keep along to their fling.
I highly recommend this book. I loved it, and hope others do to. Now I'm looking forward in reading more Kody Keplinger's books.
Even though it’s an usual situation, it still felt like a realistic portrayal of what could happen. The author tackled some important topics in an open and honest way. We get to see Bianca’s ups and downs as she tries to deal with her family problems and as well the realization of her role as the DUFF. It was amazing to me how that one word affected Bianca’s outlook and set her on this entirely new path.
I loved the relationship between Bianca and Wesley. It started out completely antagonistic, turned into something extremely sex, then into something more. I actually ended up feeling bad for Wesley at one point. He’s not just that guy who sleeps with any girl who comes along. He’s vulnerable, and sweet, and so much more. He’s exactly what Bianca needs, even if she doesn’t want to admit that to herself.
This is a fabulous YA contemporary, and I think the author did an amazing job of capturing the teen voice (probably because she was one!). The characters were all great and realistic, and I found myself invested in their lives, and wanting them to succeed. This is a definitely going on my favorites list.
So in that respect, I found The DUFF to be extremely refreshing. Bianca, the main character, has a lot of sex, and the sex she has isn’t of the “one true love, forever and always with this guy” variety. Bianca is using Wesley—who she really can’t stand—as a means of distracting herself from her parents’ divorce and her dad’s lapse back into alcoholism. And while Bianca and I are very dissimilar people, and I would never do what she does, I respected her choices and found them to be very realistic.
Overall, I was definitely a huge fan of Bianca. In one of the very first chapters, she quickly proved herself worthy of my attention when she went on a tirade against instalove and meaningful relationships. Definitely my kind of girl.
Beyond that, the whole “enemies with benefits”, while not exactly new or unique, was still a fun, engaging plot. I very much enjoyed the snappy banter between Wesley and Bianca; it was nice to see that she could hold her own against his “man-whore” persona. Of course, it wouldn’t be a good love story if things between Bianca and Wesley didn’t change. However, I thought Kody Keplinger did an excellent job in showing the subtle transition in her protagonists’ relationship over a period of several months.
There was also a more serious edge to The DUFF, beyond the lighthearted romance. Both Bianca and Wesley had issues with their family, reasons they sought distraction from sex. That darker undertone gave this novel a bit more depth that it wouldn’t have had otherwise.
However, The DUFF is still a debut novel, and it came accompanied by a few rookie mistakes. For one thing, Keplinger picked up quite a few plot threads but didn’t carry them out to the end, leaving them dangling and unresolved. That was disappointing.
The biggest problem I had with this book was the way Kody Keplinger inserted her own opinions (or I assume they’re her opinions) into the narrative. I’m not in any way adverse to discussions of politics, homosexuality, or how awful the Brontë sisters are in my books, but the way those topics were handled in The DUFF was nothing short of preachy. It felt very unnatural, like Keplinger was forcing those segments into her narrative just to prove her PC-ness or whatever. Definitely, I thought the preaching and forcing issues into the book that really had nothing to do with the main story was not a good stylistic choice.
But other than that, The DUFF was a cute romance with a wonderfully refreshing take on teen sexuality, instalove, and slut shaming. We need more books like this, in my opinion. Kody Keplinger is a welcome addition to the YA community.
This is a book that I would have loved to read when I was in high school. It's cynical, realistic and honest. It reads like a high school drama, but lets face it, we can never get away from the high school drama. Even as adults, our lives resemble a lot those of teenagers. We still gossip, we still think social standings are very important, and obviously, we still compare ourselves to our close friends. I think this need to compare ourselves never really leaves us and many of us think of ourselves as the duff, the designate ugly fat friend (even if we really aren't). I think the take home messages is that DUFF is a novel that can be read by everyone.
All the characters are flawed and I love this. I think the author has a very strong grip on reality and it shines through her writing and character building. I recommend this book to everyone, especially teens dealing with low self esteem issues because of their appearance (or what they think they look like). I also recommend it to parents because they need to know the issues their kids are dealing with. And I also recommend it to anyone trying to fit in because lets face it, life in general is one big version of high school--without all the homework and homecomings.
That’s pretty much how I feel after finishing The DUFF. When I’d gotten about 50 pages in, I really wasn’t sure that I’d like it. Yes, the synopsis warned me Bianca was cynical, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the level of cynicism her character contained. Turns out, I didn’t really need to worry. This turned out to be one of those awesome books that caused my heart to swell and make me all happy inside.
So, Bianca. Her bitter outlook on life really got to me sometimes. I could really see where she was coming from a lot of the time, though. For one, she’s only 17 trying to navigate life and we all know how big of a pain in the butt that can be sometimes. On top of that, she had problems at home.
At first I found it a little unnerving to be reading from the point of view of someone who was using sex as an escape tactic. After a while, though, I came to respect the fact that Keplinger would delve into an issue most people wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.
Then there’s Wesley. I wanted to hate him most of the time just like Bianca (he could be quite the jerk), but he was just so sweet sometimes! I’m still not entirely sure about my feelings for Wesley, but be assured that I was totally Team Bianca+Wesley.
That’s enough about characters, though. I really appreciated what Keplinger was willing to write about. She got right down to the nitty gritty (in this case, that would be sex) and didn’t let up. This means The DUFF probably isn’t for everyone, but if you can handle it, definitely give it a go. She also touches on issues like divorce and alcoholic parent/s.
The Nutshell: This really isn’t a very eloquent review, but in a way, I think that fits with The DUFF. Now, don’t take that the wrong way. This book isn’t bad, it’s simply…raw. Keplinger looks at a relationship and a person that most people would never write about. Honestly, Bianca’s not very likable, but that’s one of the reasons I ended up loving this book. If you’re up for a contemp that’s not so mushy-gushy, then this should definitely be your next read.
From the beginning, I identified somewhat with Bianca. The book opens with her, and her two gorgeous, party-loving friends, out at the local teen spot, where they can dance and hook up. Bianca just sits at the 'bar,' drinking cherry coke (the best standard soda choice) and rolling her eyes at the ridiculous teen antics. She is sarcastic and super not interested in dealing with any of the people there. How can I not identify with a sarcastic, cynical main character who has a forbidding aura when in an uncomfortable social situation?
The revelation of being the Duff too, I sympathized with. There are definitely times where I have been the wingman (winglady?), there to give encouragement and be ignored by the menfolk. This can have positive side effects, such as free drinks for you (since the guy wants to show your friend how kind he is). In Ireland, I performed this function quite a bit. But, no matter how much you mostly don't mind, it does where on you. Even a girl like Bianca, who does not believe in young love or really want a relationship, still wants, perhaps needs, to feel desirable.
I imagine this book may upset some parents, given that the kids in it make some unwise sexual decisions (honestly, they have sex, which is the decision that may anger parents of a certain ilk). Still, the book advocates healthy messages, like safe sex and positive self-image. More than that, this book achieved a rare, magical thing: the characters felt like real people and I could hardly put the book down.
Highly recommended! Seriously, do not judge the title, just give it a shot!
Here's the Blurb:
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.
I give this book Four Stars.
"Wesley stood up, his face hard and serious. He grabbed me by the shoulders and held me firmly, forcing me to look up at him.
“Listen to me,” he said. “You are not a whore. Are you listening, Bianca? What you are is an intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal, compassionate girl. That’s what you are, okay? You’re not a slut or a whore or anything remotely similar. Just because you have some secrets and some screwups… You’re just confused… like the rest of us.”
have all been hearing about The Duff and about the 18 year old college
student behind it. Kody Keplinger has us all waiting for September
10th, when her debut novel will hit stores. I was lucky enough to have
the opportunity to borrow a copy. Boy, am I glad I didnt have to wait!
The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend.
When I first heard the definition I knew exactly what it meant. Why?
Because I see myself as that friend. When I read the Duff, I knew it.
And the fact that I knew about what it was, made the experience of
reading it that much more great. I brought this up to my friends and
they said that that is how they feel, also. This is brought up in the
book. Everyone feels like a Duff.
The story line is wonderful. Bianca, 17 year old girl, has some hard
times in life and it all seems to double when the school hottie and
playboy, Wesley Rush, tells her she is The Duff. Then nicknames her
Duffy. After that, things snowball into one big mess. And Bianca needs a
getaway. She gets it, but definitely in the last place she expects.
The writing is realistic. I could definitely see the plot happening. At least I hope it would.
The characters all had flaws, but that only made them better. Bianca
reminded me of myself. I am a very cynical person and so is she. I
connected with her, which is always what you want to do while reading.
It makes loving the book easier.
Wesley is a notorious playboy. He will get with any girl he can, which
is just about everyone. Through the book, you will see subtle changes
in him. Good, subtle changes. Which will pan out in the end.
Biancas best friends made me happy and pissed me off all at the same
time. If you think about, that is exactly how best friends are. They
are great friends to Bianca, but they also push her to go partying when
she doesnt want to and one of them is very ditsy.
When it came to Biancas parents, you could feel exactly how she felt.
Her home life isnt all that great and you sympathize with her.
I wont say much about the ending, because I know I will keep gushing and no one will be able to stop me.
Ill leave it at: Great! Every teen girl should read this. They may see
that they are not alone in the world. Everyone thinks they are a Duff,
at least once in their life.