Title: The DUFF: The Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
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.Drama-packed with love, heartbreak, and friendship, The Duff will absorb readers with it's appealing characters, stupendous plot, and addictive writing. Keplinger's debut takes a dive into the high school reality; sex, break-ups, alcohol, and violence. The Duff sizzles with an intense and powerful story, grabbing teenagers' attention into a whole new level of reality.
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.
The idea of being called 'the designated ugly fat friend' was a well-portrayed concept. Throughout this novel, Keplinger traverses from lesson to lesson. Through characters and dialogue, Keplinger portrays to accepting your own beauty and having high self-esteem. She as well further explores alcohol, weight, and expression of sexuality.
Sex was a primary concept in this novel. In past novels that I've read, sex (this much) was never well presented. The Duff has many sex scenes. It has a lot. Though, surprisingly, Keplinger successfully tackles sex in this novel and yet is realistically portrayed. Keplinger was honest when it came to this topic and in the long run, the idea of sex was well-balanced and it didn't seemed "over-used" after all. I applause Keplinger with this great talent, because, not many authors can use sex often in a novel, but, making the feeling to the reader, 'not-over-used.'
Bianca was…. a bitch. Though, a good bitch. She's cynical, independent, and extremely loud, especially to Wesley, the guy who she was always open to and told him everything that comes to her mind (even it if were really mean). On the outside, Bianca acts as if her life was just fine, but no, it definitely isn't. In the inside, Bianca's got lots of problems. She's got 'divorced' parents, dad coming back to alcohol, her friends falling apart, and to her mind, being 'ugly.' With all these problems… this is when Wesley comes in. She makes him a 'friend-with-benefits" to escape all her problems, because, her solution to this was always sex. That's how she shadowed from reality.
At first, Wesley is a total jerk. He's a jerk. He's your extreme player; disrespectful, inconsiderate, and selfish. But what I really loved was as the story progresses, Keplinger slowly reveals and opens up Wesley's personality. He starts questioning himself and is really unsure if he's 'using' Bianca, or if he really loves her…
The two awesomest best-friends you can get, Jessica and Casey were both entertaining characters. They had great personalities. And, even though all three characters (Bianca, Jessica, and Casey) were all different, they still were always tight and were there for each other. Jessica was always optimistic and Casey was always the cheerleader, she always made Bianca feel better about herself. They both were very out-going people, which I absolutely found awesome!
The Duff is so real. The Designated Ugly Fat Friend = The BDTRBY. The Book Designated To Be Read By You.