Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

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Rating: ★★

17-year-old Bianca Piper didn’t think anything could get worse than having to deal with her parents’ soon-to-be divorce until the most popular and attractive boy in school, Wesley, nicknames her the DUFF, which stands for the Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend (real original, right?). At first, Bianca shrugs it off like it was no big deal, but deep down it hurt her to the core. Why did he call her that awful name? Was she really ugly and fat like he thought she was? And more importantly, why does she care what Wesley, a well-known “man-slut”, thinks?

Things take a turn for the worse when Bianca kisses Wesley. And to her horror, she liked it. Since the stuff back home doesn’t seem to get any better, she desperately seeks for an escape by throwing herself into a secret ‘enemies-with-benefits’ relationship with Wesley.

Thoughts: Initially, I was going to let my younger sister read this book, but I’m glad I read it first because shockingly, this book has a lot more sex than I thought it would (warning labels would be appreciated, thank you). Nothing too graphic, it doesn’t go into explicit detail, but there were some very steamy moments. So steamy that I would feel completely uncomfortable letting my sister read it. (obviously I can’t shelter her forever, but I’m keeping this book hidden until she’s at least 30 haha)

So according to Wesley, there is a DUFF within any group of friends. Bianca has two really pretty, popular best friends that have people stretching their necks whenever they walk into a room. She feels that she doesn’t have that same presence as her friends, but that has never bothered her before until Wes decides to open his foul mouth.

My biggest problem with the book was how unbelievable the conclusion was.

*Read on to know more, but please be warned: it contains a mild spoiler.


Towards the end, Bianca starts to fall heavily for Wesley and vice versa, which is totally normal because it’s hard to keep your emotional and physical attractions separated. But then Bianca wants Wes to be in a monogamous relationship with her and you can clearly tell that he’s not too sure if he can do that. I’m thinking years into the future here for this relationship.

Personal story time! The reasoning behind my uncertainty at Wes and Bianca’s relationship is that I was involved with a “man-whore” myself. I dated a guy back when I was Bianca’s age, and he had this reputation for sleeping with a lot of girls and pretty much being a big flirt to every vagina he came across. I’ve been through hell and back with that relationship (if you can even call it that). So reading about Wes and Bianca made me cringe because I wanted to take Bianca aside and warn her of what MAY happen in the near future.

I’m not saying that my experience makes me an expert over anyone else’s, but from my point-of-view, the relationship in this book would not result in a happy ending in the real world.

There’s one paragraph on the last page that doesn’t sit well with me:

Despite my best efforts, I smiled. He wasn’t perfect, or even remotely close, for that matter, but, hey, neither was I. We were both pretty fucked up. Somehow, though, that made everything more exciting. Yeah, it was sick and twisted, but that’s reality, right? Escape is impossible, so why not embrace it? 

Mmm. It has doomed relationship written all over it.

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15 thoughts on “Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

      1. So sorry, life has been busy so I haven’t logged in until now! I don’t read a whole lot of contemporaries I don’t think… but a few that come to mind that I have recently read this year is “Where’d You Go Bernadette” by Maria Semple and “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. What about you?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, yeah, I liked Paper Towns, too. That one surprised me. I wish that that had been my first John Green book; it was a nice introduction.

        I’ve been toying with buying Since You’ve Been Gone, but for my sister. She’s into a lot of contemporaries right now, but I don’t want to burn her out by buying her every book in the genre haha! I’ve heard positive reviews on Morgan Matson, though.

        Where’d You Go Bernadette was a very accessible read. The main character was wonderfully quirky.

        Liked by 1 person

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