Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author: Kody Keplinger
Date Started: July 21
Date Finished: July 23
Format: Paperback from local library
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. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.
Here is another novel that became a movie where I saw the movie first. And because I really liked the movie, I really wanted to like this novel. But….argh. I think I have a love/hate relationship with The DUFF. Because this book’s beginning was really rocky. And I mean, rocky. There was a point when Bianca and Wesley first hooked up that I said that obviously this book was being written by a kid who was writing their first smut scene on fanfiction. It was that bad. But then as the book continued to piss me off – Bianca was WAY too snarky for her own good, not to mention obtuse – it also kept me flipping pages as I tried to figure out if Wes and Bianca would ever end up together.
I am a sucker for relationships where they start off hating each other and then grow to like each other. But one of them is too stubborn to realize it. And that’s exactly what this novel was. I especially liked the whole confrontation between Wes and Bianca that led to both of them realizing that they liked each other, but SOMEONE couldn’t get over him calling her the DUFF to realize that his feelings were true. As much as I hated that part of the scene, it lead to probably one of the best parts of the book, where Wesley Rush finally chases a woman.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. The book and the movie were completely different. And usually the book is better, but in this case the movie was. While Wesley and Bianca’s relationship was cute and Bianca was still friends with her friends throughout the novel, there were still moments where I wanted to throw this book across the room and just turn the movie on instead.
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