BOOK REVIEW: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Before you judge me for not reading this book sooner, maybe wait to judge after I tell you that it was the movie trailer that totally sold me on reading this book. To be honest, the title and cover of this book turned me off back when I was given an ARC of it to read. Something about that label is just so offensive that I couldn't bring myself to even pick the book up and check out what might be on the inside.

And I do know not to judge a book by its cover. So shame on me. I totally judge myself for taking so long to get around to one of the best teen books I've read in regards to coming into your own as a person and learning how to be part of a functional couple. Yeah... I believe that there are high school students mature enough and self aware enough to have meaningful sex, a meaningful courtship where the two persons in the relationship grow together.

  • AUTHOR(S): Kody Keplinger 
  • SERIES: Stand Alone
  • PUB INFO: Little Brown/Poppy on 1/1/2010
  • ACQUIRED HOW? purchased Kindle edition from Amazon
  • BOOK RATING: Lemon Tart

What strikes me most about the DUFF after reading it, is just how authentic the voice of Bianca Piper comes across. She truly is a teenage, hormonal high school student who has no freaking clue what she wants other than good grades, her parents to get their acts together and maybe an actual moment to herself where she doesn't feel overwhelmed by insecurities. Seriously?! Has everyone forgotten how obnoxious, rude, selfish, mouthy and overall irritating they were at that age, because I haven't and I feel Bianca's need to hook up, have angry sex, escapist sex and overall just lose herself in the mindless pursuit of what feels good. Heck, I know a lot of adults who are stuck in that coping cycle.

The thing is though, Kody navigates Bianca and Wes beyond their disdain for life, their blow-it-off attitudes and brings them around so that while they are every bit of what a teenage high school student looks like and behaves like... they've grown as people and recognize in each other a connection that goes beyond the hurt and bitterness they've both been harboring because of their parents not treating them as the teenagers they are and protecting their fragile egos from being broken.

QUOTE ME: When a book takes on the harsh speech that many high school students feel brutalized by, sometimes as a parent I just cannot stomach it. The whining, the fierce vindictiveness, and the meanness that pervades this social media savvy age doesn't sit right with me or my desire for the world to be nice. Words conspire against good. However in the DUFF, Bianca in a blatant effort to disenfranchise herself from the offensive labeling happening around her, finds that courage usually goes hand-in-hand with introspection and acceptance. Acceptance of self and realizations that no one gets a free pass in life when it comes to insecurities and feeling left out.


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