The DUFF by Kody Keplinger | Review

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review in any way.

Description from Goodreads:

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 realises with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

This is the third book by Kody Kiplinger that I've read (read my reviews of Shut Out and A Midsummer's Nightmare), and honestly the one I was most skeptical about. But what do you know? I loved it. I loved it so much that I read it in a matter of hours. I love the world of Hamilton High that Kody Kiplinger's created, and the characters that go there!

Duff: Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend.

Let's start off with Bianca, I really liked her. She's realistic, sarcastic and cynical. Honestly? She can be a bit of a bitch. But that's what makes her realistic! And she is realistic, hell all of the characters are. I think that's partly what's so special about Kody Keplinger's novels, they're full of realistic characters, her books aren't overt pieces of fiction, there's realism which makes you believe that Hamilton High and everyone there exist. 

Bianca turns to Wesley as a form of escape and a distraction from her home life. I could see why Bianca would want to escape, her mum files for divorce and her father falls back into alcohol. The issues at home were pretty hefty topics, but they were handled very well.

Shut Out, the first Keplinger novel I read, was based on the Greek play Lysistrata. I really loved that Keplinger was bringing Greek literature into a YA novel. Well, in The DUFF she did it again. Both The Scarlet Letter (which I must admit I've never read) and Wuthering Heights (don't even get me started on how much I love this book!) were referenced and evident in the plot. And by that I mean Bianca got herself into a Cathy situation, stuck between choosing Heathcliff or Linton (and we all know who she chose, and how badly that ended up). I loved the modern day parallel, and hope that it's a recurring theme of Keplinger's work.

"Yes, Wuthering Heights is usually considered a love story, but I disagree with that. It's almost a ghost story, and there's more hate than romance. Every character is atrocious and spoiled and selfish... It's kind of like watching an episode of Gossip Girl in the 1800s. Except, of course, much less ridiculous."

Perhaps this quote has no real relevance to the review, but I just really really liked it.

Wesley was a tool. Who approaches someone and tells them that they're less attractive than their hot friends? He does. Obviously he's hot, and obviously he know's it. But, you know what? He pulls it off, because he turns out to be a really great guy.

"Wesley Rush doesn't chase girls, but I'm chasing you."


There were quite a few laugh out loud moments in The DUFF, not audible snickers, actual laugh worthy moments. That's because I loved the characters oh so much.

I really enjoyed The DUFF, I want to read more of Kody Keplinger's work ASAP. Have you read The DUFF? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

'The DUFF' by Kody Keplinger
5 Stars

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