Guest Reviewer: Simone Elkeles


Simone Elkeles is the author of Perfect Chemistry, Leaving Paradise, and our August Book of the Month: Return to paradise. She can be found at

Simone has agreed to review one of her latest YA reads The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Enjoy!

The Duff
A review by Simone Elkeles

How do you keep having these amazing hook-ups and then actually fall in love with the guy who’s somehow become your best friend after rudely calling you “the Duff” (designated ugly fat friend) to your face? Repeatedly.
It shouldn’t really be possible. Should it?

So when Bianca Piper, a seventeen-year-old cynic with a razor-sharp tongue, realizes that the person who knows, understands, and likes her the best is Wesley Rush, the school’s resident hottie who will do any girl so long as she has legs, it comes as a bit of a shock. A very unpleasant, unwelcome shock.

In this debut novel that I found incredibly hard to put down (forget feeding my family a healthy dinner the day I read this – did they even get dinner?), author Kody Keplinger deftly and believably transports the reader to the very real, seemingly average life of Bianca Piper, an unconventional heroine and modern American teen: her parents are separating, her gorgeous, thin friends are boy-crazy, and she thinks she’s The Duff. But it’s when Bianca realizes her own worth and that of her new best friend (and secret lover) that Keplinger’s The Duff is a YA book with real depth that’s definitely worth picking up.

A lot of girls in high school think they’re The Duff at some point in their lives; Keplinger’s debut , that I think she wrote when she was 17, celebrates the Duffs in all of us!

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