The Duff by Kody Keplinger


I honestly don’t know how to talk about this book without screaming, but I’m going to try.

I attempted to pick up this book the other year when the film came out. I got about three pages in and returned it to the library, decided it was not my thing. But, I am a glutton for punishment and like liveblogging books that look ridiculous, so ended up getting it out again and reading it. All 341 pages of it.

The annoying thing about this is that most of the writing was good. There were some moments of ‘what?’ (‘He glared at me for a few minutes.’) (‘and suddenly we were having sex.’) but most of it was readable. The things that pulled this book down was…

well…everything else.

Lets start with B, our darling narrator, who was the most bitchy, rude, self obsessed character I have ever had to deal with. Oh, and hypocritical. She calls herself cynical- actually makes a comment about ‘my cynicism is because of my intelligence.’ She’s not, though. She (or, the author, technically) confuses cynicism with judgemental. I don’t think she complimented a single person in this book- it was all ‘this girls a slut’ ‘this girls too skinny’. Not only that, she also calls herself OCD…*cringes* liking to fold clothes to calm yourself is not OCD, people. OCD is an actual mental illness. It’s not a fucking cute quirk you have.


Okay so B doesn’t like Love. She doesn’t believe that teenagers can love since it apparently takes years to develop. So when Wesley appears by her side at a teenage bar, she doesn’t take a shine to him. It doesn’t help that he ‘would sleep with everything that walks’. And when he admits he’s not there to actually flirt with her because she’s the Duff of her friendship group, everything goes wrong and the night ends with her throwing her drink at him.

1) like…please. Please never slut shame. It honestly doesn’t matter if you like having sex or not, or how many people you sleep with or don’t. Like…it’s that person’s choice, just as its yours to do something differently.

2) Never call someone a Duff, or Ugly, of fat, or insult them. Because guess what, they are real people and like, they have real feelings. Just like you! (sidenote to this one, being called a Duff upset B….but SHE THEN CALLED OTHER GIRLS IT LATER. DON’T. JUST DON’T.)

Of course, while still admitting she hated Wesley, they embark on a secret ‘affair’ in which she ‘uses him as her sex toy’ to distract her from all her family problems.


She stops talking to her friends and her dad and spends like every day with him- while always reminding him that she hates him.

Its stupid.

Thing is, I liked Wesley. He had a heart and morals and actually cared about her, even when she treated him like crap. He was the bright spot in this whole damned mess.

So she stops talking to her friends and then blames them when they get upset. Seriously there’s like a whole page of her complaining about their behaviour when she completely ignores them at school? Mind you, a friendship where there was not a single conversation not about a boy in a whole book probably means they aren’t that good friends (or maybe the author as never actually seen teenage girls talking?)

And this is just the start. If I could spend the next two hours typing out every single thing wrong with this book, I would.

The thing I hate most about this book, though, is that it is aimed at teens. And the whole way through the book, its basically teaching them that this behaviour is normal and good. That insulting other girls and putting them down is fun and cool! (its not) that throwing drinks- and slapping- and shouting at your love interest/boyfriend etc is normal (its not) that being boy obsessed is the only thing that matters (its really really not). That losing friends for a boy is the right way to go (nope) that keeping secrets from everyone who cares about you is fine (NO)

You can have a contemporary romance with a female main where she is still nice and strong on her own and has an actual storyline- it doesn’t all have to be like this. (read Anna and the French Kiss, so much better)

SO please, if you come across this book, do not pick it up. This is not a recommendation. This is an anti-rec.

Star rating:

one star


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