Monday, 10 September 2012

The Duff Review


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.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but now it’s been released in the UK, it seemed like the perfect time.  I have to say that I’ve seen some appalling reviews for this book – some are downright rude and I don’t really know why as I enjoyed it!

You’ve heard of friends with benefits? Well, this is enemies with benefits.  Bianca believes she is The Duff (Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend) in her social group and ends up getting it on with the biggest player in school as a way of making herself feel better and distracting her from all the shit that’s going down at home. Like all relationships that try to be purely about the physical, somewhere along the line, feelings creep in.  There’s a fine line between love and hate. 

Bianca and Wesley are basically using each other but they’re both upfront about that and it’s consensual so I don’t see a problem with that apart from the fact that Bianca needs a good old healthy dose of self esteem and I can guarantee she won’t find it in someone else’s bed.  The sad thing is, Bianca is smart and witty and isn’t afraid to tell you what she thinks.  There’s no way she’s kissing anyone’s arse, especially not Wesley Rush.  Which is why it’s such a surprise that they end up together but they see it as meeting each other’s physical needs.  As the story progresses, they end up helping each other emotionally too.  The only thing I didn’t like was the way Wesley referred to himself in the third person but it was necessary to show us that the name, the brand, the reputation that is Wesley Rush is someone else and not the real him.

The Duff is full of snark and smexy times but it’s not just superficial.  As Kody explains, Bianca finds out that EVERY GIRL has felt like The Duff at some point or another and I can testament to this.  Us girls are full of insecurities whether the world likes it or not I’m afraid but I guess it’s what you do about it that counts.  What I like about Kody’s novels is that whilst I wouldn’t say she courts controversy, she is definitely not afraid to write a story that’s edgy and full of issues that some people perhaps would rather weren’t talked about.  For this reason alone, I will be looking out for her future books.

The Duff was published on 5th April, 2012 in the UK and 7th September, 2010 in the US.  To find out more about Kody and her books, please click here to visit her website.

10 comments:

  1. I have not read this one yet but I have been meaning to for quite some time. It sounds really interesting. I read Shut Out recently and loved it so I think it might be time to read this one. Great review!

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  2. I really enjoyed this book, which was surprising to me as I tend to dislike books with a lot of sexual content and curse words. But there is just such truth in the things that Bianca feels and the way Keplinger wrote about them that I felt so connected. I'm looking forward to reading A Midsummer's Nightmare soon and will hopefully enjoy it as much! (Didn't like Shut Out as much but it was still a good read).

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    1. Glad you liked it, thanks for commenting :)

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  3. I really enjoyed this one - I thought the openness about sex was refreshing and the two main characters were really good (although I spent most of the first few chapters wanting to punch Wesley, I warmed to him in the end!)

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    1. I agree with you, I also thought it was refreshing and yes I sometimes wanted to slap Wesley too LOL

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  4. What an absolutely brilliant review Lyns

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  5. I recently read a really unflattering review of this by one of my blogger friends, Jenni of Alluring Reads, and I was trying to explain to her WHY I liked it. If this review had existed, I would have pointed her here. This pretty much delineates what I wanted to say in its defense. It's ugly in a lot of ways, but in a true sort of way.

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    1. Thanks so much Christina, that comment has made my day! I don't know why it got so much negative attention as you're right - it's ugly but true.

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