The DUFF by Kody Keplinger - Book Review

Book Synopsis:
The New York Times bestseller is now a major motion picture! 

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff--the designated ugly fat friend--of her crew.

But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, 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. 

Purchase a copy from Amazon
Learn more about author, Kody Keplinger.
Book Review:
I wanted to review this book because it became an American teen comedy in 2015. We all know that Hollywood has a tendency to dramatically change story lines of book with potential of a cult following; so I decided that I would give this book a shot. Well, that and my book club made me read it. (I digress.) 

Upon finishing this book, I sat here at my screen for more than a few minutes puzzled, and I did what no book reviewer should do - I looked at other reviews. Some raved about the book; others provided very low ratings. But, I must say that the mixed reviews make me feel better and provide confidence in the following

This most definitely is a teenage book; however, I would advise and caution adults against letting just any teenager read this. There is a profound message here - beauty is confidence. It reminds me of the Parisian approach on elegance and style. The you’re-only-as-beautiful-as-you-feel or only-as-beautiful-as-you-carry-yourself mentality, which personally I agree with. There is also a deep message of being your true self that elevates and inspires, compared to one that conforms and begs for acceptance. All very valuable lessons for teens everywhere. However there is a huge disconnect between the story and the audience. 

Bianca is our nonconformist - our intellectual that goes beyond labels. She has conviction and inner strength, but has her share of life’s obstacles. So, this story isn’t about a cookie-cutter life suddenly faced with curve balls. (I love this by the way.) She deals with real problems from the get go, and life gets harder as the story continues. 

She finds refuge and comfort in dealing with life’s curve balls by having causal sex with the school’s playboy - who shockingly is looking for more than a physical connection or notch on his bedpost. 

My point is that the writing is very much for that younger teen, and therefore, could not be labeled as young adult. However, it would take a very mature teen and avid reader to walk away with these messages. If your daughter or son has read or will read this book, make sure the writer’s intended message is clear, and not just focus on the story's ending.

For you adult YA lovers, this may be entertaining, but the writing is very teen audience driven. For the reason above, I would give this story a 2.75 to 3 stars. Like I said, the audience and their maturity level is key, but Keplinger is on to something. (FYI - judging by the previews, the movie story is nothing like the book. So, please don’t rush into any awkward talks just because your teenager saw the movie!) 

Please let me know what you think of the book and/or movie in the comments below!   

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Andrea'.  All opinions are honest and my own.*~ 


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