Review: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little Brown/ Poppy
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Pages: 288
Ratings: 4 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
I was lucky enough to find this book early at my local Barnes and Noble the day before I was to leave for college. This book kept me up until I could finish it. The DUFF was a great debut from such a young, talented new author.
I loved the characters in this book. Bianca is such a strong, female narrator and has such a great personality. I could totally relate to Bianca and her feelings at being labeled a DUFF, I mean, what girl couldn’t relate? Bianca was a incredibly strong character who stuck to her gut no matter what. She would say what she was thinking, even if it was a bit harsh because that is who she is. I really loved that Bianca had layers too. She was like an teenage girl with her friends, but like most people, was different at home and had issues at home that she kept from those she trusts most. I liked that she wasn’t cookie cutter perfect, and that she too, had flaws like any other girl.
While the story at times felt a bit predictable, I still really loved it. The romance between Bianca and Wesley was feisty and hot. I loved to seeing their relationship move from just sex into something more. I must warn, that this book is not suitable for younger teens. There is sex in this book, which is bound to get it challenged at some point, but it makes sense to the story. This whole book is driven by Bianca and her strong, tell it as it is character, making it extremely interesting to read scenes between her and Welsey, the jerk who labeled her a DUFF in the first place.
The DUFF is a highly relatable read for teens, while offering everything one wants in a YA contemporary romance. Everyone, at one point or another feels like a DUFF, a finds it easy to relate to Bianca and her situation. I never heard of a DUFF before this book,  and immediately after reading it, I saw someone call their friend the DUFF of the group on facebook, proving that people do think they are the DUFF, or the unworthy ones of their groups. This book helps show that girls have insecurities about themselves, but they aren’t alone. Kody Keplinger did an excellent job and making a book so relatable to teens. I cannot wait to see what she writes next!

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