Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keperling

Summary: 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 "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that 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. (from

Review: To begin this review I must make one thing clear. In High School I was a DUFF. Whether it was a complete reality, or more in my head, I related to everything Duffy. There were boys I crushed on, who I was friends with, who inevitably would end up dating one of my friends. I was the one who would drag the other girls off the dance floor if some skeaze guy was trying to get too close (a skill I still manange to use on occassion). I was the one who helped the other girls prep for dates and fielded calls afterwards, the one who held a hand through a break up or helped plot out a good way to ask a crush for a date. I was never, ever, the one with a date though. I was the DUFF. So with that out of the way, I can say that Keperling got it right for the most part.

Bianca isn't ugly or fat, but in comparison to her friends she feels it, and Wesley pointing it out certainly doesn't help. I really liked that Bianca's friends, even though they don't quite know what is going on stick with her. Every friendship goes through rough patches, and it was nice to see the reality of that play out, and also see them all come back together.

I genuinely loved Wesley. Every High School has a Wesley or two (or three). I liked that we really got to see why Wesley was such a cocky jerk/manwhore. I enjoyed seeing Bianca and Wesley use eachother to fill the void, while legitimately falling for eachother. My favorite Wesley moment was when he came to Bianca's rescue when her father got drunk. There was no game to be played, to advantage to earn, no using eachother in that moment. Bianca needed a hero, and he stepped up in a big way.

There were a few really minor things that I didn't like- mostly the pure volume of sex going on. I'm fully aware that it goes on in High School, but it just seemed like a tad too much. That being said- it didn't really take away from the story at all.

Overall I really related to this book, and I wish we had alot more books like this out there!

About Kody Keperling:



  1. The DUFF is a refreshing, realistic read that lots of teens can identify with- I know I did! Kody Keplinger really delivers in her debut. Great review!

  2. I can really identify with this story also! I was Bianca in school, only skinny as a rail. I will recommend this to my sister as a possible Christmas gift for her daughters. Thanks for the warning about the sexual content.

  3. Mari- it's not explicit or anything- but Bianca does use sex as an escape from all her problems, so there is alot of it going on, but it is not graphic or anything!

  4. Just to let you know it's KEPLINGER not Kerperling. And you're right, instead of alcohol like her father or drugs, Bianca uses sex to self medicate. It feels good and she can totally escape for a little while. It can be a dangerous way to self medicate and she's lucky that Wesley was there for her, trying to be the only one she used and making sure he didn't happen to be with anyone else. For being such a pig in the beginning, he sure turned out sweet in the end. This was a favorite of mine this year. I was so much the DUFF that I did the breaking up for my sister. Guys trembled when they heard me calling. I think because I knew how it felt, I hung onto some of my relationship much longer than I should have just because I was waiting for the guy to break up with me. LOL