REVIEW: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by, Kody Keplinger

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~ Synopsis ~

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.

REVIEW

I saw the trailer – it looked cute, and I’m a big fan of Mae Whitman, she was amazing in Perks of being a Wallflower, I’ve had this book in my TBR list forever – because well, I always considered myself The Duff in my gaggle of friends. But we didn’t really have a name for it – I was the loud one, the funny one – the one that wasn’t afraid to make fun of herself, the one that always had a lot of guy friends, but not a whole lotta’ boyfriends. I was the one that was sooooo easy to talk to, someone the guy I had a crush on that week could really be himself around.
If I had to hear, “You’re not like the other girls.” one more time I might cut someone.

But it was my lot in life – a lot that I clung too for way too long, I put myself there – and it wasn’t until my mid twenties that I quit thinking like that about myself and allowed myself to just be who am – if someone didn’t like it? They could piss off.

Bianca is angsty – and bored more than anything. Her home life isn’t the greatest – but it’s not the worst either as her parents are going through the ups and downs like every marriage has, but her mother isn’t around – she’s off teaching people about self esteem and lecturing about a book she wrote ages ago. Anything to escape the town, and maybe her husband. it isn’t until a night out with her friends at a club – a club for teenagers to go and drink soda and dance – that she’s constantly dragged to on the weekends, she sits at bar, cherry coke in hand and chats with the bartender trying to drown out the annoying techno music, when Wesley Rush, the all around womanizing sex on a stick approaches her in the hopes she can put a good word in to her friends for him.

Bianca is over it – and just when things can’t get any worse? Wesley coin’s a new phrase, one Bianca’s never heard before even if she’s felt it. He calls her The Duff; The Designated Ugly Fat Friend of their group. She’s shocked, hurt and throws a coke at him – and I applaud her, because in my moments of anger like this – not ever called a Duff but much worse, my hands suffered the consequences of where my punches landed. Wesley tries to explain to her she’s not necessarily fat – or even ugly, but that her friends are just hotter than she is, she’s the approachable one – the snarky one – the one that’s not afraid to be her self etc… etc… you see where I’m going with this.

But as these two are thrown into a school project together – and the struggles at home get to be too much for Bianca she uses Wesley as a way for escape – one that he jumps at and these two start a fling that gave me goose bumps and left me a little nostalgic for my teenage years. Wesley starts to show himself a little more as these two get to know one another, and deep down he’s not the pig I thought he was – he actually cares about Bianca and as things between her parents crumble, Wesley is there to help distract and protect her.

This book was hard for me to get into at first, the first 15% I had to shelf it for a bit – it was too much, but I think i was reading too many angsty YA/NA books that I just needed a break – because when I picked it back up last night just to read a few chapters – I stayed up until almost 1am to finish it. It sucked me in – hard this time – as the relationship between Bianca and Wesley builds it gave me goosebumps, I went from wanting to hate him – to rooting for him.

The movie didn’t do the story justice – I want to re-watch it now and realize the premise is there, but the importance of the novels plot was lost into a teenage movie about mean girls.

As always – the book was soooooooooooo much better.

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