Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)'s Reviews > The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
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's review
Aug 28, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, ya, humor, 2010-debut, read-in-2010, own
Read on November 07, 2010

Every girl in the history of the world has, at one point or another, felt like the DUFF – the designated ugly fat friend; That one girl in a group of friends who feels like she just doesn’t compare to the rest. That is exactly how 17 year old Bianca Piper feels and as her home life comes crashing down, she needs an escape, a way to forget about all the bad things happening to her. Wesley Rush – womanizing, jackass Wesley Rush – becomes that escape.

Kody Keplinger has perfectly captured the insecurities that all women have. Her writing is witty, sarcastic, hilariously funny, and perfectly executed. Bianca is easy to relate to and I could even understand her situation and why she keeps going back to Wesley. And Wesley – he’s a jackass, but he’s a funny jackass. His cockiness and the banter that goes on between him and Bianca is a blast to read. Then, there’s Bianca’s best friends: Jess and Casey are wonderful, Casey especially. They are the best friends that every girl wants and should have. I loved them both.

This book is everything I’d hoped for and then some. Bianca is intelligent, strong, fierce in that ‘I’ll give you a verbal beatdown’ kind of way, yet she is wholly and entirely flawed. She has sex, repeatedly, with a guy who called her a Duff – with someone who tears her down all the time with a degrading nickname. All the time she spends with Wesley makes her open up to him, and him to her. The two aren’t really that different from one another and maybe, just maybe there could be some feelings other than hatred and lust there.

Aside from Bianca’s complicated and illicit after school activities, she has to cope with a mother who abandoned her and a father that seriously cannot cope. After 18 years of sobriety, a sudden divorce sends her father on a downward spiral and sooner or later, Bianca’s dysfunctional home life and her dysfunctional relationship begin to crash together. The ending is somewhat predictable, but getting there is the best part.

The Duff is a snarky and heartfelt novel that delves into issues of insecurities, self-esteem, and casual sex, but does it without overwhelming the reader. Innuendos line the pages, but the story is heartfelt and real. Bianca could be me, she could be you, she could be any girl in the world and that’s what makes this story truly shine.

Opening line: This was getting old.
Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: “No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.” ~ pg. 126-126

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