BOOK REVIEW: The DUFF – by Kody Keplinger

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Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: September 7th 2010
Finished reading: April 16th 2015
Pages: 280
Rating 4

“No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.”

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This is definitely not my typical read and I wasn’t completely convinced I was actually going to like this novel when I first started reading it. I guess I ended up being wrong about my suspicions. Have you ever had it happen that you both hated and loved a character? That is exactly what happened to me with the main characters in The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. While I hated Bianca for using sex as a way to forget about her problems, I loved the fact that she had a strong character and in the end wasn’t afraid of being completely herself. I definitely understand what it feels to be a ‘DUFF’, but I wouldn’t ever respond the way she does in this novel by Kody Keplinger. Although in a way I admire her courage… The womanizer Wesley on the other hand; boy I hated his character. The typical arrogant teenager who thinks he thinks he’s the hottest guy on the planet and it’s his job to make girls feel miserable… Le sigh. But he ended up growing on me when he showed his sensitive side. The prose Kody Keplinger uses to describe her story is brilliant and made me laugh at various points in the story, and combined with a fast pace The DUFF is truly a pageturner.

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Bianca Piper is not what you call the ‘perfect’ cheerleader, but she is smart, sarcastic and has two loyal best friends. She doesn’t always feel attractive when she is with her goodlooking best friends Jessica and Casey, and sometimes she wonders why guys never pick her as a date instead of her friends… And then comes Wesley Rush along, the school’s hottie that tries to get in every girl’s pants. When he calls Bianca ‘the DUFF’, she is so angry she throws her coke in his face, but she cannot get the word DUFF out of her head afterwards…

Things at home aren’t great either and Bianca fears her parents will end up in a divorce. She desperately needs a distraction, and ends up kissing the guy she thoroughly hates. Soon, she and Wesley are doing a lot more than sharing just a simple kiss… An enemies-with-benefits relationship is born. But Bianca’s hatred turns out to be not as deep as she thinks, and to her horror she is starting to fall in love with him… The boy who keeps calling her Duffy.

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I would have never guessed I would enjoy reading The DUFF, but I did. The prose is briliant, funny and easy to read, and together with the fast pace I was able to read this novel in a heartbeat. I have a love-hate relationship with the characters, but it didn’t really take away from my reading pleasure. I don’t know if I would be able to watch the movie, but this novel by Kody Keplinger I would definitely recommend if you enjoy reading YA contemporary and don’t mind a few sex scenes.