The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
1. I read this book a few weeks ago and just didn't get around to writing a review of it. Then I read some other reviews, and while I don't usually let other people's opinions sway me, I felt like I needed to rethink my original opinion. In the end, I decided to stick with my original one and love the hell out of this book.
2. I realize there are some issues with this book. Some of it's a matter of reality. Some of it's a matter of "What the heck is the main character doing?" I'm going to talk about it in this review, but I've decided not to analyze it too much and take it for what it was...a fun book.
Minor spoilers ahead.
Bianca Piper knows she doesn't look as good as her two carefree best friends, but her snarky wit keeps her from focusing on her self consciousness. Until Wesley Rush, local rich boy and high school jerk, brings to her attention that she's the DUFF - the Designated Ugly Fat Friend that guys will attempt to befriend in order to get with their much hotter friends.
Not only does this weigh on Bianca's mind and self-esteem, but she's also dealing with an absent mother, a pending parental divorce, and an alcoholic father. So when Wesley turns out to be a distraction, Bianca starts an affair with him to run away from her problems. In the process, she learns that she's not the only one with problems and that she's not the only one who's ever felt like the DUFF.
I love Bianca's sense of snark and humor and I related to many of the things she went through. Not that I got my groove on with someone I hated in high school or otherwise, but I do know it's easy to do things you might not do otherwise just to forget the things that life is throwing at you.
I can see where the whole Bianca/Wesley thing would irritate some people...who jumps the very person they hate? You'd be surprised what stress can do to you, and while I would normally say to stay away from those types of elements, I think in this case, it added to the development of the characters.
I thought this book was well written and cute, and the author's voice resonated with me. I'm hoping to read more by them and I do recommend DUFF if you can suspend a little bit of reality and just enjoy the story for what it is.
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