The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
By: Kody Keplinger
Published: September 7th 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy (first published January 1st 2010)
Genre: YA/NA, Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from my sister
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Goodreads description--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.
My sister recommended The DUFF to me because she had the audiobook, and she thought I would enjoy it. My sister and I don’t always agree on books, but she was pretty sure that I would like this one. And so when I had some downtime at work I decided to take her up on it to help pass the time. And well overall I did enjoy The DUFF.
The DUFF is one of those books where the characters have a LONG way to go from being likeable in the beginning. Considering that this book is at least inspired in part by Wuthering Heights, it’s understandable that none of the main characters are particularly likeable. I struggled through the beginning, but in the end the character growth and development won me over.
Bianca is our main female character. She’s flawed as all get out. She’s judgmental. She has an awful potty mouth. She jumps to conclusions. She makes assumptions. She’s even hypocritical. She talks and thinks negatively about herself and about others. While I find Bianca, and The DUFF in general, fairly realistic, this isn’t a reality that I really want to be a part of.
Here’s an IM conversation my sister and I had about this book. I’m tried to exclude all of the spoilery parts. I feel like this just gives you the best idea of how I felt about this book (this conversation took place over the two days that it took for me to finish this book):
Sandy [10:37 AM]:
I relate to this girl, yet I can't say I really like her that much.
Sandy [10:45 AM]: she's very judgmental
Melissa [10:45 AM]: yeah. I can see you not liking her very much.
Sandy [10:47 AM]: i hope she grows as a character. [removed]
Sandy [1:19 PM]: oh boy...there she goes making out with wesley again
Melissa [1:19 PM]: yep. I was like "what in the world are you doing?!?!"
Sandy [1:19 PM]: yep. next thing you know she's going to be sleeping with him just to not think about [removed]. oh wow...there goes the shirt. maybe i'm not that far off
Melissa [1:20 PM]: smh.
Sandy [1:20 PM]: and the bra. sheesh
Melissa [1:22 PM]: :)
Sandy [1:22 PM]: seriously!!!!!!!!!! :-O
Melissa [1:23 PM]: hahahahaha.
Sandy [1:23 PM]: this girl SMH i can't believe her
Melissa [1:25 PM]: yep. she's insane.
Sandy [1:25 PM]: GREAT ^o) i almost feel bad for Wesley.
Melissa [1:26 PM]: oh dear.
Sandy [1:27 PM]: bahahahaha!!!!!!!!! or not
Melissa [1:27 PM]: why?
Sandy [1:27 PM]: she's not nice to him at all
Melissa [1:27 PM]: no, she's not, but he called her the DUFF.
Sandy [1:27 PM]: yeah i know. sometimes he seems like he cares though. perhaps i'm naïve.
Melissa [1:28 PM]: I liked him too. after a little while.
Sandy [1:29 PM]: he keeps asking her if she's alright seems like he actually cares. otherwise why even ask?
Sandy [1:32 PM]: and him having his own bookshelf and stuff. indicates there's more than meets the eye.
Melissa [1:32 PM]: :)
Sandy [1:33 PM]: or...he could just be rich :) she's going to go back for more too i bet
Melissa [1:33 PM]: I bet.
Sandy [1:33 PM]: hey...you already know. ;)
Melissa [1:39 PM]: I didn't say what happens. I was betting the same thing.
Sandy [1:39 PM]: :|
Sandy [1:45 PM]: oh sheesh. that is why i never told my friends if i had a crush on someone
Melissa [1:47 PM]: what happened?
Sandy [1:48 PM]: well first of all kacey told jessica about b kissing wesley to begin with. but then i think it was kacey again said something angie and vicki at lunch about her making out with him. AFTER vicki had already said that she and wesley fooled around in his car at homecoming.
Melissa [1:49 PM]: oh yes. I remember thinking I would have been annoyed if i were Bianca.
Sandy [1:49 PM]: for sure. i would have been furious
Sandy [3:12 PM]: ok just when i was starting to like this book... toby tucker's helping her pass out VD flowers etc
Melissa [3:13 PM]: YEAH...
Sandy [3:13 PM]: 8-)
Melissa [3:13 PM]: what's wrong with that?
Sandy [3:14 PM]: i just doubt it will end happy. i'm assuming she's built him up too much in her head.
Melissa [3:14 PM]: :D
Sandy [3:14 PM]: i bet you love hearing my predictions
Melissa [3:15 PM]: i do.
Sandy [3:15 PM]: i don't mind being wrong
Melissa [3:15 PM]: :)
Sandy [3:16 PM]: and i like to have proof if i guessed correctly and how much do you want to bet that [removed]
Melissa [3:20 PM]: :)
Sandy [3:20 PM]: :D (H)
Sandy [8:36 AM]: did you see where i said yesterday that i keep thinking the narrator says lesley instead of wesley?
Melissa [8:38 AM]: oh yeah. I remember thinking that too.
Sandy [8:38 AM]: i always have to remind myself his name and that he's a boy since i keep thinking she says lesley
Melissa [8:39 AM]: hahahahaha.
Sandy [9:06 AM]: bahahahhaah....[removed]
Melissa [9:07 AM]: :)
Sandy [9:07 AM]: and he was like "while that's disappointing that's not what i was going to ask" BAHAHAHAHA!!!!! oh boy!!!!!!!!
Melissa [9:19 AM]: Hee Hee.
Sandy [10:42 AM]: haha...yep
ugh...i don't want her with toby.
Melissa [10:43 AM]: I didn't either. But, who do you want her with? Wesley???? :)
Sandy [10:43 AM]: well yeah
Melissa [10:44 AM]: :)
Sandy [10:50 AM]: i can't believe she said [removed]. SO NOT TRUE
Sandy [10:54 AM]: and toby just admitted to watching gossip girl seriously?
Sandy [11:02 AM]: BAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! busted
Melissa [11:07 AM]: what?
Sandy [11:07 AM]: [removed]
Melissa [11:08 AM]: [removed]
Sandy [11:08 AM]: yeah go wesley!!!!
Melissa [11:09 AM]: what did he do?
Sandy [11:10 AM]: he said [removed]
now she's [removed]
Melissa [11:10 AM]: :)
Sandy [12:06 PM]: CHEESE! WESLEY RUSH DOESN'T CHASE GIRLS...BUT [removed]. :D
Melissa [12:06 PM]: HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Sandy [12:06 PM]: (H)
Melissa [12:07 PM]: I knew you'd like this book. :)
Sandy [12:08 PM]: WELL...I'm torn on some things, but overall I've enjoyed it and looked forward to it when I had to stop listening.
Sandy [12:48 PM]: man....this book is running out of time for [removed].
Melissa [12:50 PM]: hahahaha.
Sandy [12:50 PM]: :|
Sandy [1:10 PM]: i finished
Melissa [1:10 PM]: yeah? And?
Sandy [1:10 PM]: i liked it. need to write my review now. :)
Melissa [1:11 PM]: were you happy with the ending?
Sandy [1:11 PM]: yeah
I battled with The DUFF because I didn't like Bianca very much in the beginning. I feel like there's more to address and I could over analyze a lot of this book, but I was happy to see the character growth in Bianca as well as the other characters. The DUFF gets 4 stars from me. I debated giving it 3.5, but pushed it up to the 4 stars because of how much I wanted to come back to it whenever I would have to press "pause." Have you read The DUFF? What did you think? Let me know!