Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 7th 2010
Genres: Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Soon to be a major motion picture! 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.
The DUFF by teen debut author Kody Keplinger is a raw and realistic look at high school life. It is a refreshing and fast paced read that is very relatable. The DUFF reminded me of a Judy Blume or Laurie Halse Anderson type book with it’s accurate portrayal of teens. Haven’t we all felt like the Duff (designated ugly fat friend) at one time in our life?
High school senior Bianca Piper feels like the Duff. Bianca’s life is not perfect. Her parents are getting divorced, but they love and care about her. Bianca has two supportive best friends, but she does not feel like the pretty girl in the group. She is a unique protagonist that is witty, cynical and sarcastic. When the three friends go out, Bianca hangs back sipping a cherry coke while her friends are dancing. One night she is approached by school man-whore Wesley Rush who wants to befriend “The Duff” to get closer to Bianca’s friends. She is horrified to hear herself described this way and throws her drink at him.
The novel follows Bianca as she takes Wesley’s words to heart and struggles with her home life and self esteem. Paired with Wesley on a school project, Bianca begins to use Wesley as a sexual distraction from her troubles.
The DUFF is a refreshing and original story about friendship, family, self-esteem, and love. The voice of Bianca feels very fresh and real and I think a lot of teens will be able to relate to her. Once I picked up this book I was hooked and read through it in one sitting. The story is well written with interesting characters that kept my interest throughout. Like Bianca, I did not expect to fall for wealthy, sleazy Wesley but he won me over. Bianca’s friendships and family life drew me in with their authenticity as well. Recommended for older teens due to the mature sexual situations.
The DUFF is worthy of the hype and is an enjoyable read. The cover fits the book perfectly as well. I read that movie rights were optioned for The DUFF and I’m curious to see if that will happen. Looking forward to reading more from Ms. Keplinger.