The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Friday, February 18, 2011

Title: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 288
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
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 “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out 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.
Designated.  Ugly.  Fat.  Friend.  Do you have hot friends that always make you look like the unattractive one in the group?  Well, then according to Wesley Rush, you are the DUFF.  He assumes that if he acts sensitive toward the DUFF, the DUFF's hot friends will think he is some sort of a catch and will want to sleep with him.  So when Rush sets his sights on Bianca Piper, she just throws a soda in his face. But Wesley doesn't stop trying and Piper decides to kiss him (whoa?).  Well, after that things start heating up.  Bianca has some pretty nasty stuff going on in her life (parent's divorce and her ex-boyfriend just came into town) and she has convinced herself that she needs a "distraction."  Wesley serves her purpose just fine until Bianca starts totally falling, literally, for him.
This book was GREAT.  First off, the characters.  I loved them.  Wesley Rush was adorable, even with his "lifestyle" with so many girls.  Bianca Piper was the DUFF.  Sort of.  When I was reading this through, I kept seeing her as a very skinny, pretty girl (who just seemed way too modest) so I really was clueless about what Rush was saying about her.  I think this has been the first book ever that I actually agreed to the character's opinion of love.  So Piper's character is definitely something new and fresh, especially right after Valentine's Day. 
I really just recommend this book to girls- it just seems like a girly book.  Boys go read I am Number Four, because the movie came out today (which I'm totally excited about). 
The plot was amazing and totally surprising.  I wasn't expecting a love story at all.  I was expecting maybe something along the lines of a growing-up story and learning-how-to-deal-with-bullies kind of story (which now that I think about it- that would have been a really boring story if that was what I was expecting).  I admit I did not read the book flap (the summary) until maybe halfway through. 
The one thing that might have bothered me is that Keplinger kept making comparisons to major classic works.  First, Bianca needed a distraction from her trouble just like Hester needed something to distract her that her husband wasn't around in The Scarlet Letter.   That comparison was fine.  I could deal with it.  But then there was the Wuthering Heights comparison between Bianca's love for Toby and Wesley was like Catherine's love for Linton and Heathcliff.  Please, one major work was enough.  Otherwise that, it was fantastic. 
I loved Keplinger's voice.  And especially loving that cover- the bubble and the girl's eye shadow are the same color.  It was a very cute book.  Every girl who has ever thought badly about how they look needs to read this book.

Cover: 5

Characters: 5

Plot: 5

Writing Style: 5

Ending: 5

Overall: 5

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  1. I am looking forward to wachting I AM NUMBER FOUR,too, but your sentece thrown into THE DUFF review really confused me!:D Thanks for the review. I've already got it on my wishlist, but now I want to read it even more

  2. Yay! I loved this book, too! I was definitely one of my favorite realistic reads of 2010. Can't wait to read more by this teen author!