Saturday, January 8, 2011

The DUFF Review

The DUFF - Kody Keplinger
*September 7th, 2010 Little Brown/Poppy

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.

With The DUFF, young author Kody Keplinger has crafted a raw, gritty and real read. If the fact that The DUFF recently made 3rd place in my Top 10 YA Reads of 2010 List is any indication, it's basically a read that's definitely worth checking out!

The leading lady, Bianca, is a very strong-minded and rather badass female character. She's brash and tells it how it is. It's always great to see strong female leads who have a mind of their own and aren't afraid to express their opinions. Like mentioned earlier, as far as contemporary novels go, The DUFF is fairly gritty and real - and as such it does contain some explicit language and scenes. (In my opinion, it's well within acceptable range, doesn't even strike controversial territory, but it is something to be aware of.)

Wesley is also a very interesting character. It was definitely impressive to see his issues, because that added an extra facet of depth and realism to his character, which in turn upped the credibility. And hey, he does kind of appeal to the whole rebellious-bad-boy-fantasy aspect of teen [female] readers.

With great witty banter, it's definitely visualize-able how The DUFF could be turned into an amusing romantic comedy movie (movie rights have already been sold). There were a few slight issues here and there with credibility - specific snippets of dialogue or parts of scenes - didn't ring quite as true as they might've. There was one thing - that's just not how the school handles that in real life. At times the "morals" of the story did seem to be pounded in a little more directly than necessary.

All in all, Keplinger has created a super-fun and enjoyable contemporary story with The DUFF.

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

I definitely loved this book. I would love to see it in movie form.

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