Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bookanistas -- THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger

So this week on the Bookanistas, I'm dishing on The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger. First, let me just say that I'm hugely cynical, just like the MC, Bianca. I fell in love with her immediately.

Plus, dude, I was the Duff in high school for sure. In fact, I think I might still be the Duff... Ahem, anyway.

The DUFF follows cynical Bianca as she goes from hating playboy Wesley to actually caring about him. It's gritty and real, and one of the best YA books I've read all year. And I've read a lot, trust me.

Summary:
Characters -- A+
I loved Bianca and her two besties. They were real and well-developed. I loved Bianca's dad. And I even enjoyed Wesley, with all his smart-aleckness. He had many layers, each more endearing than the last.

Voice -- A+
You could say that this novel has a strong teen voice because it was written by a teen. I suppose you could say that. But no matter the age of the author, the voice was spot-on. (And by the way, Kody's written a stellar piece on writing an authentic/edgy voice in YA for WriteOnCon--which is next week. So be sure to sign up and see what she has to say!)

What else I liked: the emotion. Yeah, all right. I admit it. I cried at one point in the book. And if you can make me cry, even once, even a little sniffle, you've got a winner. I'm a cynic, remember?

The DUFF comes out September 7, so make sure you get your copy. Preorder here.

Check out what else is going on in Bookanista-land this week:
Shelli Johannes-Wells Recommends PERSONAL DEMONS
Scott Tracey is Spreading Some Cover Love
Beth Revis Recommends THE ETERNAL ONES
Myra McEntire Shares the Top 10 Reasons She Loves The Mortal Instruments Series
Shannon Messenger Recommends CANDOR
Carolina Valdez Miller Recommends THE BODY FINDER
Lisa and Laura Roecker Interviews Mandy Hubbard author of YOU WISH

36 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I really want to read this. I've heard great things about it. And I was definitely at DUFF in high school.

Christina Lee said...

AWESOME--SO has been on my list!!!

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Damn you, Elana! Must. Read. Faster! My pile never seems to get smaller and I need this one, too!

Marissa :)

Erinn said...

Lots of people are saying great things about it. Sometimes when books get these sort of reviews I wonder how much of it is the book and how much of it is that people really like Kody. It's on my must read list. I'd be interested to see how it its. I"m not a duff but I'm a butterface.

Palindrome said...

I'm a cynic as well but it does mark a good read or watch if you can make me cry or laugh.

Henya said...

Damn!!! Another thing to read. Will give it a glance. Thanks.

Matthew Rush said...

As a grown man this normally wouldn't be my kind of thing, but you've made it sound excellent Elana (plus I've heard good things about it several other times) so I may have to pick it up for my daughters.

Plus I love good writing even if the setting/premise isn't normally my cup of tea.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've pre-ordered THE DUFF with my THE MOCKINGJAY order. My 10 yo is a fan of THE HUNGER GAMES triology, and asked who was going to get to read THE MOCKINGJAY first (naturally assuming it would be me). He was shocked when I told him he would. THE DUFF is first on my list. :D

Fortunately, tho, he's a fast reader. ;)

Kelly said...

I've heard such awesome things about this book! Definitely on my To Read list~
And before all the hullabaloo, here I thought Duff was just a guitarist in Guns n Roses... ;)

Kristi Helvig said...

I have this ARC and Matched on my bedside table--must read both immediately!

Hilary Wagner ~ Debut Author said...

I will have this book...oh, yes, it will be mine!

xoxo -- Hilary

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm so glad you loved this book Elana! I think the genius of the book is that we've ALL been THE DUFF at one point or another. I love that the underlying message of the book is one of acceptance and empowerment. I can't wait to buy a copy and keep it for my daughter when she's old enough some day. I think it will be a great jumping off point for all kinds important conversations.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the review. It sounds good. High school is a tough time for teens, and so many books focus on two (or more) impossibly perfect people. That's not reality. Sometimes, even fantasy needs a good dose of reality.

I'll put this on my wishlist.

Renae said...

I can't wait to read this book and dang-it if you didn't make me even more excited. Thanks Elana!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

I hear wonderful things about this book too! Can't wait to read it!

Mary Campbell said...

I've been hearing about this book and it sounds really good. I was the Duff too and still am probably. This is a book that needed to be written and with you're recommendation I can't wait to read it.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Definitely a tear jerker! The concept alone is sad. But worth the read. Great review, Elana.

Annie McElfresh said...

Awwwww! I remember when Kody was writing the Duff! It was good even in first draft form. LOL :) Her Next Book, Mid Summers Nightmare is also gonna rock! :)

storyqueen said...

I am super-looking forward to this one!!

Grit and heart.

Awesome.

Shelley

Sara B. Larson said...

I've been looking forward to reading this one a lot. Great review!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, man! Now I have another must-read for my pile. Maybe I can catch up a bit before September. :-)

Great review, Elana.

LeishaMaw said...

Sounds like a fun read. Thanks for showcasing it.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm looking forward to this book - it sounds fantastic!

Myra McEntire said...

Wow - I can't wait to read this one.

Robert Guthrie said...

Cool. I didn't know A+'s still existed.

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

I want to read this so bad!

Lisa_Gibson said...

I just love this book! It was fabulous. I truly <3 Bianca. Such a fiesty gal, you gotta' love her. Great review.
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

First--you are SO not the DUFF. Second, I LOVED this book. In fact, it kinda made me want to throw rocks at my own writing. I can't wait to watch it soar to Bestseller status. It deserves it. :)

ali said...

Sweet! Thanks E!

Angela said...

E-
I doubt you could ever be the DUFF!!!

But I love the title & I want to read this one!!

Stephanie said...

Very much looking forward to reading this one!! And it releases the day before my birthday!!! Birthday present for me!

Lydia Kang said...

Great review Elana! It looks like an amazing read. I need to get a copy when I can!

Krispy said...

Yay, it's out soon! Another book I must remember to put on my TBR list. :)

Karen Lange said...

Sounds interesting, thanks! And for the record, I've never thought of you as a DUFF.
Have a great weekend,
Karen
P.S. Finally tried pretzel M&M's. (I live in a cave, remember?) I might have to buy them again.

Meredith said...

Can't wait for this one! I love a voice that's realistic and strong, and I don't mind crying over good books :)

Tara McClendon said...

I have been hearing amazing things about this book for over a year. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the post.

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