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Really Ravishing Review (The Duff)

literati_rain66 Thursday, August 26, 2010 ,
The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)Review of The DUFF, by Kody Keplinger.

Quickie: Not at all what I expected, but very good. It was raw and honest and kept me turning pages until it was over.

Full: Bianca has just been told that she is "The Duff". The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. She looks around her and realizes it's true- Jessica and Casey are blond, beautiful, and confident. Bianca is the Cherry Coke sipping cynic with mousy brown hair who hates every thing about high school romance.

Wesley Rush, the school's very own hunky "man-whore" approaches Bianca and tells her that he is only talking to her because she is The Duff, and her friends will like him better if they see him talking to her, doubling his chances of getting with one of them. This hurts Bianca's feelings (as it very well should) and she is furious. How does she take out her fury? She kisses him. A big smackaroo right on the mouth. Being Wesley, he kisses back and proceeds to grab her boob. Line crossed! She smacks him and storms off.

At this point, my eyes were bugging out and I was shocked. Who in their right mind just up and kisses a random guy who they hate?! Crazy. But Bianca gets a high from it. She feels numb and all her anger dissipates when she kisses Wesley.

Things start to go downhill in Bianca's already unstable home life, and what better way to deal with it than to just be numb? She can't fix the problems at home, but she can escape from them.

Wesley becomes her escape. (And he is all too happy to be it!)

Things quickly escalate and before long Bianca is ditching her friends and making up lies so she can spend her time with Wesley, getting numb. Her life is crumbling around her, and she runs to Wesley's bed at each problem. Eventually she must come to the realization that every girl feels like The Duff, and every person makes mistakes. She also must realize that she has to stop running from her problems and deal with them, or she will be running forever.

I surprised myself- Wesley was my favorite character. The womanizing man-whore. Not typical for me at all. But Keplinger really did well in showing that image and reputation isn't everything a person is. There was so much more to Wesley than his womanizing ways. True, he was a pig. (Points though, for being smart enough to use a condom, even though they aren't fool proof) But once Bianca figured him out and got down under the surface of his actions, she found a sad, lonely boy who just needed company and love. (Awww) Real love, the caring kind, not just physical flings.

I simultaneously loved and hated Bianca. I loved her because she was witty and intelligent and not afraid to show it. She loved her friends, and had no problems being the snark to their charm. But I was ticked off when she did the whole, "I'll just use this guy to blow off my steam. Who cares anyway, since he's a womanizing pig and obviously won't care at all if I use him up and throw him away" bit. She hates him because he's so promiscuous and uses girls like hotel soap bars (one use and you throw it away) , yet it's okay for her to be promiscuous and validate it by his low moral standards? Not cool.

The DUFF was quite a story. It was dramatic and shocking, but still very real. I'm sure I've used the phrase, "thought provoking" way too much in my reviews, but it was. I've felt like the DUFF. I've also known when I wasn't the DUFF. (Horrible in a way, but true) It didn't really matter to me when I was or wasn't the DUFF, because I had great friends either way and none of us really cared.

It's a book that every girl can understand. That in itself is quite a feat, not to mention that she wrote it when she was only 17! You go girl!

4 out of 5 stars.


SM Schmidt said...

Huzzah! I'm excited about reading this next month when it finally comes in the mail.

Karen said...

I loved this book so much! I borrowed an ARC from a friend but I'm buying it so I can read it again. Great review!
Thanks for participating in the Ultimate Reviewers Challenge!

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