01 December 2012

Book Review: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

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 “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.        

REVIEW: The title really lured me in; it's so unlike most book titles I've seen! I was just curious to see how she'll end up dating the hot guy in school given that she is, The Duff. 
Let's get down to it: I didn't like Bianca right away; she was so cynical and yes that can be charming sometimes because she's not the regular girly-perky-girly-girl (I'm a real pro at describing) protagonist  but it made me wonder how on earth her two very perky and pretty friends could keep up with her. But then she met Wesley. No, I still didn't like her. She was still cynical and I felt all the more annoyed at her. Who uses sex like drugs? The way Bianca just got into that arrangement with Wesley was sort of disturbing. Everything just happened so fast because she needed an escape and he was just there. An escape from your family problems, really? And I just can't bring myself to believing how promiscuous Wesley's is... in highschool. Started early eh?
If people actually do that in real life I'm sorry for questioning your lifestyle. 
Throughout the story however I found myself liking the Bianca that was Wesley's. Okay, they didn't really declare each other officially boyfriend and girlfriend till the very end (there's no point holding spoilers, you can tell how the story would go just by reading the synopsis) but they way they talked and opened up to each other makes it appropriate to call her that. I felt like Bianca wasn't pretending when she was around Wesley and that sounds really cheesy but whatever - it worked for me. Furthermore, I began to appreciate Wesley more when he started asking Bianca what she was really escaping from. It really set the mood for me, because he was starting to care about her but he wasn't completely head over heels yet. 
If you read my review of Awkward by Marni Bates you'll know that I love books with big reveals in them. You know, that part in the story where the guy finally admits that he's in like/love with her and that she's just oblivious. Well anyway, The Duff had one of those and boy was I happy about it. No... it didn't come in the end. In happened a few chapters towards the end, and it didn't happen bluntly - WHICH WAS EVEN BETTER! It's one of those moments that you start getting excited because you just know how it's going to go down and the girl's stubbornness just adds to the charm. *gush*
Bianca's family problem was really believable so it wasn't hard for me to see why she'd feel the need to escape (even if her method is unconventional). I just hate reading about girls who experience family problems which they could easily cope with, making them look shallow and immature. This wasn't the case in The Duff though, which was good. I especially loved the part where Wesley stands up for Bianca when her father was being rude. That was just perfect
The only issue I had here was picturing Bianca and Wesley getting cuddly with each other. The hot guy + the duff = eh? So much emphasis was placed on Bianca's duff quality that it messed with my imagination. Err. But that's not really a problem here. I just like to nitpick. Heh.
I like this book. The story's quite enjoyable and the lines are witty. Mix all that with the Wesley Rush of it all, this book will definitely entertain you. ;-)
P.S. Whenever I imagine Bianca's phone playing Wesley's ringtone (Womanizer by Britney Spears) I can't  help but giggle. That's one of the tiny details I love about this book.


Kody Keplinger
I'm a 19-year-old college student and young adult author. My first book, THE DUFF, debuted on September 7, 2010. I write books for teenagers and strive to be honest and true-to-life. For more info, check out my website.

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