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The Duff

The Duff - Kody Keplinger This review can also be seen at Carole's Random Life.

4 Stars!

I simply cannot believe how much I liked this book. I actually skipped right over it the first time I saw it and only took a second look at the insistence of my teenage daughter. I am glad that she encouraged me to read this book because it was a wonderfully told story. Once I started reading, I had a very hard time putting this book down. I even got out of bed an hour earlier than usual just so I could finish this book and I NEVER get out of bed early for anything.

Bianca is hanging out with her two best friends, Casey and Jessica, as the story begins. Wesley comes over to talk to Bianca because she is, as he puts it, the Duff - the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Bianca doesn't like this remark at all. Before the conversation is over they have shared a kiss and Wesley is wearing her cherry coke. Bianca swears she hates Wesley but she can't seem to stay away from her either. She knows how Wesley is with girls so plans to just use him and keep her emotions out of the equation.

I loved the characters in this book. Bianca was pretty awesome. She is completely herself every time she is around Wesley and isn't intimidated by him like most girls. Her character grows a lot during the course of this story. She isn't perfect and her life isn't perfect but she is trying to deal with everything to the best of her ability. Wesley can be quite the jerk. He has a constant string of girls parading through his life. The more the reader really gets to know Wesley the more likeable he becomes and by the end of the book I loved him. His character also had a tremendous amount of growth in this story.

I loved that this story wasn't afraid to deal with sex. As the mother of a teenager, a part of me would like to think that teenagers aren't really having sex. The realistic side of me knows that teenagers today are probably having just as much sex as they did when I was in high school which means it is happening all of the time. Based on my aging memory, the way that sex was handled in this story is very realistic. This would probably be a book that would be most appropriate for older teenagers and adults. There is a lot of sex in this book which younger teens will probably not be ready to deal with.

I was completely blown away to find out that this book was written by a 17 year old. I still can't believe it. I had a hard time writing a 500 word essay when I was 17 and trust me when I say that nobody wanted to read any of the crap that I wrote back then. I do think that the author's age probably played a large part in how authentic everything in this book felt.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I found it to be a wonderful coming of age story that kept me glued to the pages. This is the first book by Kody Keplinger that I have had a chance to read and it happens to be her debut novel. I am definitely planning to keep my eyes open for other works by this author in the future because chances are that she is only going to get better with more experience.

I received a copy of this book from Hatchett Children's Books - Hodder Children's Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.