Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

So when I first went to read this book last year I was just thinking mmmm this is going to be a pretty average book. ~I tend to look at how everyone else rates the book - silly I know but its a habit~ 
I think The Duff didn't get enough recognition than it should have - it was a great book. 

So recently I decided to pick the book up again and was drawn into its wrath.

~Sorry I'm blabbing so just bear with me~

The Duff is centered around Bianca, a "sassy, cynical, sarcastic, neurotic, loyal, compassionate girl" ~Quoted by the on-and-off lover Wesley Rush~ To be completely honest I would agree - thought all those things about her was completely refreshing - Bianca Piper isn't one of those girly characters that sobs off to her boyfriend if something goes wrong - she's strong...         

But unfortunately she finds herself running away from what is good and right...

~Exactly like Emily Brontë's Catherine Earnshaw (from Wuthering Heights) who chooses Linton over Heathcliff - "My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath" basically choose the head over the heart (in this circumstance because Catherine chooses Linton even though she ultimately loves Heathcliff) - this also surmises the mindset of Bianca -- choose what is perfect and sweet the nice guy (Toby Tucker) where everything is nice (head) over what is daring, radiant, dynamic and hawtt (Wesley Rush) where you must be on your toes (heart)... but the difference between the two (Catherine and Bianca) is that Bianca fights for what she believes in and ultimately gains love  -- hold up I can't say love because according to Bianca love takes years to develop, so lets just call it "feelings"~

I was actually surprised about Bianca, I really over-looked her pessimism the first time round -- but this time, I took a closer look and decided that there was a point when too much pessimism is enough (she just surpasses my quota in this one). I just begged her to let go and just be free -- she was a bit up tight (due to her stubbornness, cynical-ism, bitterness and sarcasm). 

So lets talk about the problematic word that the story was centered around, DUFF
Designated Ugly Fat Friend -- an ultimate put down to any girl out there -- and who was this said by in the first place -- charismatic, arrogant, womanizer and downright hotness -- Wesley Rush... Basically what it means is -- An unattractive female who is always seen with another female/s who is marginally more attractive, she is known as the cock-blocking friend in the group you're trying to hook up with (this is from a guy's perspective)... so according to Wesley "girls find it sexy when guys show some sensitivity and socialize with the DUFF"... Wesley first says this to Bianca at the Nest -- a local hangout club for teens and ultimately receives a cherry coke to the face ~Round of applause Bianca~ But the word plagues Bianca the whole plot and challenges her self morals and self esteem. Kody definitely sheds a negative upon on the word DUFF, a careless word which has easily blended into today's society (especially the male population) and highlights the devastating effects it can have on the receiver ~Haha sorry about the last sentence -- turns out I have been paying attention in English class -- it is starting to sound a little bit sophisticated so i'll tone it down~ 

Wesley Rush, the epitome of daring, charm, charisma, "badness", flurt and hotness -- a rich all-round bad boy who hides his insecurities behind his womanizing acts, Wesley is the total cliche of a love interest but I like him -- he is definitely dynamic kind of guy -- the "relationship" between Bianca and Wesley is definitely spicy and brimming with pizzazz -- they both see right through each other and understand each other -- the love/hate coin definitely flips seemingly from hate after the fling that they have with each other... The mood when they are together is definitely vibrant and enticing -- but they both have issues holding each other back from achieving a proper boyfriend/girlfriend relationship -- naming-ly the couple's family lives -- Wesley (part- abandonment by his mom and dad as well as his unstable relationship with his sister (Amy) and grandmother) and Bianca (parents are going through divorce, her father's alcohol addiction, being labelled the DUFF and her past dating experience with Jake Gaither (her bestfriend's brother))... But Kody just adds in a love triangle (where Bianca has to choose between Wesley and Toby (I'm getting to Toby so just be patient) -- I thought it was really unnecessary and just a filler to the story's plot)

I've mentioned 2/3s of the "love triangle" so now is the last, Toby Tucker. Toby is the cliche nice guy who is a total dork (bowl cut and wears blazers -- is that even fashionable?) but Toby just exudes niceness and perfection -- in reality no-body is perfect, also nice just feels dead plain to me -- and that is exactly how Bianca thought of him (during/post dating him) she seeks the spice that was achieved by her and Wesley. Toby is smart and has been the long-time crush of Bianca -- but Bianca's fantasy of Toby's perfection isn't met in the books reality -- she learns it the hard way... ~I really wasn't fazed by Toby -- I choose to skip out on the nice guys in most stories because of mainly their niceness and blank nature~ Toby is the sort of character that should have remained Bianca's friend instead of being brought into the triangle -- but that's how it turns out in the end. ~ I think Toby's influence tries to turn Bianca into something that she's not and I was annoyed how Bianca tried to fit into the good-girl stereotype -- especially because there was no spark or connection in their relationship to begin with...~

Casey Blithe and Jessica Gaither, Bianca's bestfriends are definitely supportive throughout the story, I enjoyed Jessica's dumbness (sorry for the putdown but it was necessary) and happy-go-lucky attitude -- it added a vibrancy to the plot. I also like Casey because of her reserved nature -- she looks out for Bianca when things take a downward turn and always worries about Bianca's worries ~that quality about her annoyed me a whole lot as she seemed overly obsessed over Bianca's problems~ I also didn't think the tension was necessary in some scenes between the friends it just made it a whole lot difficult to like the book.

All in all, The Duff was a great book, despite its average ratings on some sites out there it is a good book, however I must warn you: Kody Keplinger does tend to write her books sort of formulaic so be wary when reading -- don't be to quick to judge this book. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a contemporary YA book to read. 

I loved it so why don't you give it a try!



  1. I like that you included the Wuthering Heights parallels in your review, I noticed it but when I wrote my review I completely forgot. :P

    Anyways.. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed this book!

  2. Thankyou I really enjoyed this book - even though Kody Keplinger is a bit formulaic with her writing this is definitely her best so far