Thursday, November 4, 2010

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Oh. My. Gosh.

I couldn't put it down. I literally read it from cover to cover in one sitting... well, okay, truth be told: I took a short break to run to Sonic with my mom for a 50 cent corndog around page 20... but after that, I read non-stop!

This was not a book I wanted to read. Why? Because I'd heard that there was a lot of colorful language and a lot of sex. However, after attending a writers conference in SC and listening to everyone rave about the writing in this book, I decided I had to read it strictly for research purposes. HAHA. I want to be a published author - and to accomplish that, I need to be aware of the other books on the shelf. Right? Even if the book was written by an EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD. **color me jealous**

Oh. My. Gosh... Wait - I already said that - sorry.

This book is definitely rated R. Have no doubts about that. Lots of f-words and lots of sex.

But I'll tell you what... the writing is fantastic. I laughed. I cried. I cheered. I shook my head (which made it harder to read). But the bottom line is: I could NOT put it down.

DUFF stands for the designated ugly fat friend. And the boy who calls Bianca (the m.c.) this is a total jerk... until we get to know him better. But, as the author states on the back flap of the book, "I always felt like the ugly girl in high school - my best friends are insanely gorgeous - so when I was introduced to the word during my senior year, I knew I was the Duff. The idea of writing a book with Duff in the title started as a joke, but when I realized that my friends felt like Duffs, too, I knew I had to write this story."

And that's compelling. We all feel insecure. We all get emotional. We all have problems. The question is how we choose to deal with these things. Now, I would deal with it differently than Bianca... I would eat chocolate and pizza. Ha. But the point is the same. We need to choose how we deal with our insecurities in life.


  1. Hmmm... I agree to a point. I mean, the writing was good. But I've read the first few chapters and I haven't wanted to pick it up since. I keep telling myself I need to finish it for research purposes, but it's so not the kind of book I like to read. I'm not saying it's bad in any way shape or form. I don't know what it is ... I don't really care for the language, I guess. I haven't gotten to the sex parts.
    Guess I'm just a big old wuss ... but I thought Keplinger did a fantastic job with her first chapter and setting up the inciting incident!

  2. PK - I have to admit - I NORMALLY give less "stars" automatically when I rank a book on if there is a bunch of unnecessary language and sex. I truly believe you can write a great book without the f-word and sex scenes. As a mom, I am really bothered by these things in YA books.

    I wish wish wish we could have a rating system on the back of books. Just like the movies, or video games. I don't think it would be an "infringement" on the whole "free speech" stuff - but rather a way to help us choose before purchasing. Just like the movies.

    When I rated this book on goodreads I *tried* to give it only three stars and then only four stars, but because it's the first book in a long time that I felt compelled to read cover to cover, I had to give it five stars.

    But, I also had to warn all of my friends (young and old) of the language and sex, because it is offensive to many people.

    At first, I thought the language was really unnecessary and a bit "shock" factor in the book... maybe that's all it was. I haven't decided.

    I really am torn on this book. LOVED IT. HATED the language and sex scenes. Actually... that's how I felt about Time Traveler's Wife. And I still think about that book.

  3. Duff is on my reading list for the new year (life is busy with NaNo right now) and I also gave it as a prize for one of my blogfests so it's interesting to read here that it is actually a good book. I'm looking forward to buying it for myself now.