Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Duff


The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
by Kody Keplinger
Publication date: September 7, 2010
Published by: Little Brown / Poppy
Paperback, 277 pages
My rating: 4/5 ★

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff--the designated ugly fat friend--of her crew.

But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, 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.

I really enjoyed The DUFF and was positively surprised. It was exactly what I needed at the time, a light and quick read but also refreshingly different from what I expected. Unlike the regular contemporary, it was pretty straight forward overall and far less dramatic than I thought it would be (well, okay, there were some overdramatic moments but they didn't bother me that much). The story was rather predictable, as I'm sure most of you will expect from the short summary, but I still very much liked to read about the path to the expected (kind of obvious) ending. 

I could sympathize with Bianca - her life at home was a mess and with people just not talking about their problems, it couldn't be easy. Unfortunately, she herself didn't always manage to say what needed to be said and that always bothers me with main characters. Especially with how she acted towards her friends, I mostly couldn't support and understand her actions. Overall, Bianca was kind of an annoying character at times but it was easily bearable. Her way of escaping her sorrows and distracting herself from her problems was so different, unexpected and fun to read about, it made up for her less glamorous and more brain-dead moments. She surprised me more than once with her not very well thought through decisions but I kind of loved that about the book.

What I liked most about the story was that things were actually happening from the very beginning and then slowly developed from there. I liked the whole build-up and especially Kody Keplinger's writing. The relationship between Bianca and Wesley developed slowly (with some lucky coincidences here and there) and felt very real. 

I would recommend this book to anyone with a love for contemporary and in need for a fun and light read. It's perfect to lift your mood on a rainy day and small enough to also get through on said day. If you don't like predictable plots and/or characters that are terrible at making reasonable decisions, you'll probably have your issues with this book. But with the movie coming out very soon, I would recommend everyone to give it a go, because the movie looks just as fun as the book.