Friday, October 17, 2014

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Title: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Release Date: September 7, 2010

Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy

Pages: 280

Received: eBook

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★½  

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. [goodreads]

My Thoughts:

I picked up this book on a whim. I basically went into it blindly and didn't go into it expecting much. But after contemplating all my thoughts, it was a good, solid novel. This book is already heading big places in the movie business and I'm not exactly excited. I loved reading the little references to other books and movies. There were many things I liked and disliked in THE DUFF, but there was a clear message: the more you run away from your problems, the more of a problem it'll be when it catches up to you. Also body image, the characters learned many things and dismounting yourself from others isn't the answer and accepting  yourself.
Bianca constantly thinks herself as "the Duff" Designated, Ugly, Fat, Friend. All the words from womanizer, Wesley Rush. Bianca's home life isn't exactly "paradise". She needs an escape and her escape is kissing Wesley. It's more like "enemies with benefits". But Bianca realizes he's not all promiscuous, he is as screwed up as her. Bianca's home life was like any other cliche story I've heard many times, but it's scary that it's true. 
The beginning of this book didn't go so well with me. When Wesley called Bianca, "the Duff" it sounded so crude and dismounting a women, I hated his guts. But I knew it was a "playful" way of using that phrase. I really didn't want to like the book, from then on. But the more I realized Bianca had a true teenager voice, full of hormones, and anything a teenager is. There were many cliche teenager things she did, but it was passable. The more Bianca felt like a real teenager, the more it was scarily real.
THE DUFF is spoken from a truthful teenager. You cannot escape reality in this novel. This is a fairly short book, which ends satisfyingly. The love triangle wasn't a major problem, it was dealt with like mature teenagers. 
To know that Kody Keplinger wrote this book in her senior year of high school, is surprising. But amazing. I would definitely recommend this to any of my friends. This story's premise was unique and a fascinating take on body image. THE DUFF is truthful to the core.
3.5/5 STARS

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