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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Kody Keplinger – The DUFF

I’ve had this book for ages and it’s been in my suitcase on at least 3 holidays, but I never actually got around to reading it. I guess I was a bit scared that it would be a bit too childish.

But after reading, I don’t think I had much to worry about. I mean, obviously it’s a book aimed at teenage girls, but it wasn’t as dumbed down as I thought it would be, and I found myself caught up in the story much more than I thought I would.

As the title says, the book is about a girl who considers herself ‘the duff’ of her group – the designated ugly fat friend. That is, she does after a boy rather kindly points it out to her. Bianca hates this guy with a passion, but as you can probably guess, she ends up falling for him.

But the book wasn’t all wishy-washy love, it also tackled some more difficult subjects like her parent’s divorce and her father’s alcoholism. This was a saving grace for the book as it stopped it being too girly and childish. Even the evolving love story between Bianca and Wesley had a lot of substance to it, not just a girl mooning over the hottest boy in school.

I had a couple of favourite quotes from the book, mostly coming after Bianca realises that although she considers herself to be ‘the duff’, her two best friends also consider themselves as ‘the duff’ of the group. It’s so true that as women, we seem to focus on our own flaws and see the best in other people, putting ourselves down and making ourselves feel inferior for no reason.

“Calling Vikki a slut or a whore was just like calling somebody the Duff. It was insulting and hurtful, and it was one of those titles that just fed off the inner fear every girl must have from time to time. Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point.”

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