Thursday, September 2, 2010

Early Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Coming September 7, 2010!

Bianca really has no interest in being the life of the party. She doesn’t even want to be at the party, period. But week after week, cynical and snarky Bianca braves the hormone-riddled masses of the local teen club, the Nest, for the benefit (and safety) of her perkier, more popular friends. One night, in the midst of the maelstrom, Bianca finds herself face-to-face with Wesley, the local playboy and the bane of her existence. After calling her the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), Wesley finds himself with a face full of Cherry Coke. So when Bianca unexpectedly throws herself at him for a heated kiss, it's hard to say who is more surprised. Thus begins an utterly accidental love-hate affair that ranges from Scrabble matches to nighttime trysts as Bianca tries desperately to forget that her life is crumbling around her.

The DUFF is a stunning look at teenage life in an unusual, yet utterly realistic way. Kody Keplinger tackles some of the hardest and most provocative issues teens face with insight and class, treating with grace themes that could (and theoretically should) easily be painfully awkward. Bianca is tough and delightfully cynical, making her one of the most believable and lively heroines I've ever read. Every reader will wish they had a friend like Bianca, or were more like her themselves. The cast of supporting characters - both friends and enemies - round out the novel with their distinct histories and personalities, from nerdy but romantic Toby to Bianca's polar opposite best friends, the tough cheerleader with a savior complex, Casey, and naive but loving Jessica. 


Wesley is infuriating and even disgusting at times, but as the story progresses Bianca (and readers) will discover some surprisingly deep and ultimately endearing layers to the passionate playboy. The unexpected spark between Bianca and Wesley is like fire and gasoline, an electric tension that will keep readers enthralled. Eventually, The DUFF takes a turn for the sweet and sentimental - a nice counterbalance to the lust and debauchery - but manages to avoid cheesiness and remain meaningful, showing both sides of the coin. The novel doesn't sugarcoat the serious issues at its core, but is still a fun and funny read that holds the appeal of true YA charm.

Rating: 

Click here to preorder The DUFF

Disclosure: I won an advanced copy of this novel in a contest. This did not affect my review in any way.






Coming soon: Author interview with Kody Keplinger!










This review is part of the Debut Author Challenge 2010.




16 comments:

Ashley said...

I've been hearing about this book a lot around the blogging world, and at first, I wasn't interested at all. It just didn't interest me. But, I've read enough reviews like yours that I think I'm going to need to check this one out!!

E.J. Stevens said...

The relationships sound interesting. Great review!

xx,
E.J
From the Shadows

Laura said...

Sounds like a promising book. I'll keep my eyes out for it when it comes out! :) Thanks for your wonderful reviews, like always.

lisa :) said...

I heard of this book a while ago and was pretty turned off by the title, but it actually sounds pretty interesting. Once again, great review and looking forward to another insightful author interview!

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Wow. I've been hearing a lot about this book, but I think your review is the one that made me most want to read it! Thanks for sharing!

The Bookish Type said...

Thank you all for stopping by! I'm so glad the review appealed to you =) I can't wait to hear what you all think!

Diana said...

The book has an amazing title.The Dyff sounds very interesting.

Mary Ellen said...

I decided to read your review of The Duff even though I'd decided not to read it. I think I've changed my mind. You write great reviews!

Karen Senoo said...

Uhm, this book sounds interesting! At first I thought it would be just like Bubble Gum by Lolita Pille [also because the covers are quite similar!] but this one looks a little bit more light lol Just added this to my to-be-read list ;)

@Tibiux

Vivien said...

Another one I wasn't sure if I wanted to read. I have been hearing wonderful reviews though so I may just have to.

Moirae(thefates) book reviews said...

I wasn't sure about this one, I was surprised though, it was good, the concept was really original I thought.

Lane

danya said...

I've heard a lot of mixed responses to this one — it seems to be a 'love it or hate it' kind of book – but it's good to know that you enjoyed it! Wesley sounds awful but if he's able to win over the reader in the end, then there's some excellent character development going on there :D

Nora said...

My blog partner just read this book and she loved it! I've been meaning to read it for a while now.. glad you enjoyed it!! :]

Syki said...

I think that this book is unfortunately undervalued. Most of people don't like it because of vulgarity... I loved it! This book just seemed so natural and true... I would like to have this book signed 'cause I think that Kody is incredible as author!

Triss said...

I liked this book. It was quick read. But I think it was a little bit shallow. I missed a good plot and characters development. Despite I am looking forward to next books from Kody.

slayra said...

I loved this book! I couldn't put it down once I started and finished in a few hours. Loved Keplinger's portrayal of teens, seemed pretty real, not the "sanitized" version many YA books present. Great read! ^__^

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