March 20, 2014

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 280
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
From 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 DUFF is the second Kody Keplinger book that I've read (Shut Out was the first) and it reaffirmed for me that she is one of the authors on my 'I will read anything by ____" list.  I really enjoy how she writes about real issues without preaching, but by presenting a different way to think about things.
Bianca is told that she is the DUFF (dumb ugly fat friend) by this guy from her school named Wesley.  Wesley really pisses Bianca off and this pissed off-ness is expressed through lots of kissing.  And sex.  Now, it's not only the fact that he pisses her off that draws Bianca to him, it's also that her world is kind of falling to shit.  Her parents are divorcing, her dad (who is a recovering alcoholic) is drinking again, and Wesley is the only distraction that she wants.
I really liked that one of the points driven home in this book is that it's really easy to make judgements based on what's on the surface, but you don't really know those people.  You can label someone a slut or a whore, etc., but you're only seeing a small piece of who they are.  They could be struggling just as much as you are in life to find their way.  I think Keplinger brings a fresh perspective to everything she does.  It looks like she has a middle grade coming out next and I'm so looking forward to checking it out!

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