Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

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.

I am all about the DUFF! Loved it!
I was interested in this books years ago, when it first came out, but then I read some reviews that said it was full of inappropriate sex, and promoted low self-esteem in girls.
Unfortunately, I let that scare me off.
I recently noticed that they were making a Movie about the book, and my interest perked up again.

This book really struck a chord with me. 
Now I'm not going to give you some sob story, and tell you that I felt like a DUFF in high school. Because, the truth is,  I actually had pretty good self-esteem by that point. And the thing is, so does Bianca. At least until Wesley decides to tell her that her friends are the hotties of their group.
And yet, she still sleeps with him.
And I think that's where a lot of readers get the idea that this promotes low self-esteem.
I don't think so. 
See, she doesn't sleep with him to get his approval, she does it to find an escape from what's going home in her home life. She figures since he's a man-whore, it's not like a real relationship that she has to care about or foster.
Turns out, Wesley may be sleeping around for the same reasons that Bianca is sleeping with him. And what starts out as Enemies With Benefits, begins to into something more as they get to know each other.

Oh, and speaking of Wesley... 
Wesley is a straight up douchecanoe in the beginning of this book. I wanted to strangle him! 
I mean, just wrap my hands around his neck and squeeeeeeeeze.
Which, when you think about it, is sort of a great thing for a writer to be able to make me want to do to one of their characters.
By the end of the book though?
I was like, Girl, kiss him already!

Another big complaint I see is the teen sex in this sucker.
So, if you think teenagers shouldn't have sex in books...don't read this.
However, if you (like me) have some wiggle room in your brain for that, then you probably won't be offended. It's basically fade to black with no details, other than kissing.
I also loved the fact that she was on the pill and they used condoms every time. 
Because Yay! for promoting safe sex as the norm.

And as far as the term DUFF goes, I think the author did a good job showing that it's just a word. Everyone feels that way sometimes, and the only real difference between the Plain Jane and the Femme Fatale is the way you feel about yourself.


kimbacaffeinate said...

This sounds like a great read and I am glad you had fun connecting with the main character.

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