Genre: YA, Contemporary/Romance
“No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.”
― Kody Keplinger, The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
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.
I have to start by saying the reason that I picked this book up was solely because of the movie coming out. I have heard a bunch of people talking about this book and thought the synopsis sounded interesting, but what sold me is the movie trailer looked like it would be a good movie. I have to say know having read the book I am not sure the book and movie will be all that similar (but I have not seen the movie yet so who knows)
The story was surprising to me for the fact that it was not what I was expecting. Although the story was not so much what I thought it would be, I did find that it covered a lot of topics from friendships, relationships, family issues and finding/accepting yourself. For the most part I found the story to be relevant to this younger age group and is especially important for teenage girls because of the message that Keplinger put across about how sometimes everyone is the “DUFF” and accepting and loving yourself for who you are. I did find that there was a lot of sexual content for being a YA Contemporary. I personally do not have a problem with it, but feel like for the age group this book she be geared to it is too much.
The characters were very realistic. They were flawed, had insecurities and showed growth. I thought Bianca was a fun and unique character. I think she is a great role model for younger girls as well as women everywhere. She is strong, witty and realizes in the end that women deserve more than being called a whore etc and I thought Keplinger really handled the subject wonderfully. Wesley was a great male character. Of course he comes off as an ass, but when digging deeper it is all just to cover up other issues. I also enjoyed Bianca’s friends and felt like they really proved what it is to be a great friend!
Overall I thought this was an okay book. It didn’t shock me and I felt like it was a very predictable story. Besides the great message that was addressed there was not anything that really stood out to me. The characters were fantastic and I was a huge fan of Bianca and I feel like personally I can relate to her. The book was a little slow at the beginning, but was enjoyable to read. I am excited to see how the movie turns out and how it compares!