The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Date Published: September 7th
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.
What a great debut for author Kody Keplinger. I was immediately intrigued by the title, and knew this was one book I had to get my hands on. The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is a book that deals with self- esteem in a way that resonates with young adults.
Though the language and sexuality of The Duff is unrestrained it did nothing to deter from the greatness of the story being told. Let's be honest, I'm not too old to know that this is realistic. Do I cringe that this is the norm, yes, but why put the truth of today's youth under the rug? Bianca is a teenage girl with some self esteem issues. She feels she is the ugly duckling of her set of friends, and is not fond of Wes, the man slut, saying such out loud and to her. His words impact her, though she hates that it is affecting her. Things at home are not so great either, her mom is gone, and her dad refuses to see the reality of his situation. Somehow escaping a couple of hours with Wes makes her numb to her surrounding problems. Wes becomes her escape, but what starts off as a past time quickly changes when she begins to feel something..something real.
Bianca is a character that I was able to relate to. We shared some of the same characteristics. I could understand her cynicism. I wanted her to find what she was looking for. Basically, I was rooting for her. It's always a great thing when you attach yourself to a character. Wes, what can I say about him, but that author Kody Keplinger wrote a character that we should dislike, but somehow made him endearing. I actually loved his character..What? He was flawed, and could be an ass, but basically he had a good heart. Both Bianca and Wes together made a exceptional pair. They are up there in my favorite couples this year.
Kody Keplinger hit it out of the park with her debut, The Duff. I didn't want it to end. I will definitely be reading more books by the author.