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REVIEW: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Published by Hodder Children's Books on 25th February 2015
Pages: 300
Source: *Received in exchange for an honest 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 “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.
I had previously seen this novel around, with a review popping up every once in a while. Then all-of-a-sudden my Goodreads page exploded, and I knew I had to read it! Overall, it was okay. I cannot think of another word to describe it except it was, 'okay'. I have admitted before, fluffy contemporary romances are not my favourite genre, but I do keep trying because of novels like Anna and the French Kiss, Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys, and Babe in Boyland.  However moving onto the cover, I do really like the film covers for this novel; definitely prefer them to the originals.

Bianca has not had it easy, she never sees her mum meaning home life is tough. But to top it off, Wesley Rush names her the DUFF, the designated ugly fat friend. Ouch. And good for Bianca, because she throws her drink in his face. But with everything getting worse at home, when paired with Wesley for a school project, Bianca begins to confide in Wesley, and starts to understand that they may not be that different after all.

I struggled to understand whether I liked Bianca. I cannot pretend to understand why she does what she does, because I do not. Which is where I struggled to connect with her, yes she could be funny and entertaining, and she went through some struggles, but I just did not get it. All I could think about was how irritating and frustrating she was. Then we have Wesley, for some strange reason I sort-of liked him. He did protect Bianca and look out for her, but also had a lovely soft side when it came to his family, or more specifically his sister; making me even more interested to read Lying Out Loud. Although I cannot deny that he definitely was incredibly frustrating and disgusting at times.

"No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually."
The Duff by Kody Keplinger, Paperback

The plot was predictable, specifically with one event adding raw emotion to the novel. However the rest you just sort of float through, it is a coming of age novel, one that yes, needs to be told but there was just that spark missing for me. It was just like any other contemporary, and I felt I could have easily skipped to the end, meaning there was nothing to make it stand-out from the crowd.

Sadly this novel was just not for me, and though our protagonist Bianca could be humorous at times, I constantly found myself becoming frustrated with her.


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