Karthy's Reviews > The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
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's review
Jul 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-rf, relationships
Read in July, 2011

One of the smartest YA novels that I've read in a while.

Bianca is such a vivid protagonist. Witty, sarcastic, cynical, and smart, she is also vulnerable and real. Though she may be the designated ugly fat friend as deemed by Wesley Rush, the school's resident womanizer, she is so much more than that. There is a confidence about Bianca that radiates through the pages and percolates through the whole story.

Wesley Rush, Bianca's counterpoint, is definitely kind of a jerk, but I still rather liked him. Though a little too blunt, I've always appreciated people who don't sugarcoat, and Wesley definitely doesn't.

There wasn't very much I didn't like. I really though the prose and the insightful comments that Bianca provides were wonderful. The story reads almost like a really smart teen movie filled with inside jokes and pop-culture references, especially to James McAvoy.

The great thing about The DUFF is that the subject matter is dealt with in a tone that's matter-of-fact. The story isn't meant to provoke or be shocking, it is simply the right course for the characters in the story. In a lot of ways this is definitely one of the more realistic books that I've read of late.

I'm really impressed with the fact that Keplinger started writing this when she was a senior in high school. She's definitely an author to watch.

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