REVIEW The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
by Kody Keplinger
September 7, 2010

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 “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She 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.

You guys, why did you not tell me how awesome Kody Keplinger is?  I blame you all for keeping secrets.  I've read 2 of her books in the last 2 days and I've adored them both.  Now I need to track down her third.

I loved seeing the world through Bianca's eyes.  Like I'm sure many other girls out there, I spent a good portion of my teen years feeling very insecure, and while Bianca is very confident, she's more than a little shaken when Wesley, one of the hottest guys in school, tells her that she's the DUFF, the designated ugly fat friend.  Then, as other parts of her life start falling apart, she just hears the word Duff over and over in her head, mocking her, until she decides to take matters into her own hands, and kisses him.  She's not looking for a relationship with him, she's looking for a distraction.  But soon things become more than that.

While I loved Bianca, every now and again I wanted to throttle Wesley, especially after he starts referring to Bianca as Duffy, even when they're in the midst of their "with benefits" relationship.  He's sweet to her, but at the same time he's completely oblivious to just how offensive calling a girl that nickname really is.

I loved that Kody Keplinger doesn't shy away from sex in her novels.  There's no worries about "consequences" as we're so used to in teen fiction, where it always seems like as soon as a teenager has sex, they're bound to get pregnant or something.  That doesn't happen, and I think it added a good deal of reality to the situation, because that's not always the case.

This book was emotional and honest and an amazing page-turner for me.  Loved it!


More by Kodi Keplinger:


  1. I loved this book! It's on my Top 10 reads of 2012. I definitely need to read books by Kody. :D

    1. So far I've read The Duff and Shut Out (which I'll review tomorrow) and they're both fabulous. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I just saw this on Goodreads in their giveaway section - I hadn't heard of it or seen any reviews yet, so I'm glad you posted one :)

  3. I've been waiting to read this book for YEARS, no kidding. I've just been too busy with review copies to be reading "my own books". But this along with Shut Out is SO UP THERE. I think Kody sounds wonderful and I'm happy to hear that you loved this. I'm sure that I will too! Great review :)

    Lisa | Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

  4. I've only read Shut Out and I didn't really care for it. But this sounds like something I would be more interested in. Will have to give her another try.

  5. I haven't read any of Keplinger's novels but they sound really intriguing. I'm interested in how she delves into these emotional issues. Will have to check out soon, thanks for the recommendation!

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