Monday, 27 April 2015

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 343
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Released: 25th April 2015

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. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on. 

What I Have To Say 

I have very mixed feelings about this book. My first thing is the fact that the character is not like other girls, because she doesn't like dancing or flirting or other things that her friends like. At first I was completely against it. I'm sick of every book being about girls who are special and unique and feel completely different from every other girl. But then I got thinking. Actually, that was exactly how I felt in high school. In fact I think a lot of teenagers feel the same way. So in the end, I don't know what to feel about it. 

The title is something that I sort of feel weird about though. It's been a few years since I've been in high school, so maybe it's a commonly used phrase nowadays. But if it's not, the author is giving teenagers another thing to bully each other about. Especially because people do pick up on these things and they do use them against each other (anyone else short sighted been told they should've gone to spec-savers?).

The one thing I did like about this was how it treated sex. I'm not saying that books should encourage young people to have sex, but there is a big lack of books where they treat sex like it's no big deal, because sex is something that people put too much importance into. This is a book that actually debates whether sex defines a person. It looks at words such as slut and whore and what they mean about people. 

I really think that this book looks at issues that need to be address. It's good that it looks at words and labels and what they really mean. But I'm not sure it pulled it off quite as sensitively as it should have been. 

This book was not for me. 

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