Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author: Kody Keplinger
Series: Hamilton High #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Book to Film, Contemporary, Contemporary romance, Young adult
Dates read: 10th January 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: I just needed to deal with it myself before I sprang it on her and Jessica.
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 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 Biance, 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 sucha 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 read this in one sitting. Literally. I thought I’d pick up a book and just enjoy an easy read for an hour or so. But then, I couldn’t put it down. And forgot to eat. And went to bed really late. I have GOT to stop doing that. I also read this while I was watching the movie. Which is also amazing. Actually, I’m not entirely sure which version I loved more. They are really nothing alike. Except for the fact that there’s a Bianca and Wesley… and the use of the term DUFF.
I love that this story is all about accepting oneself. Realising that all of us feel like the “DUFF” in one way or another. And taking that, and making it work for you. After all, everyone has their own insecurities and we should work to build each other up. Like the girls in this novel. Actually, although this is a romance and centres on Wesley and Bianca, it’s the girl relationships that I love the most. Normally, they’re all about bringing each other down. But this is about support, jealousy and all of those wonderful things that a real friendship entails. Believe me, I’ve been best friends with the same girl since I was like, two… we get jealous when the other spends more time with other people, we get annoyed at each other, but at the end of the day, we love each other and support each other no matter what. That’s the friendships that Bianca has with Jess and Casey in this novel.
This is kind of a coming of age story, but it’s a lot more adult. I’m not sure if I’m kind of old, but the idea of having sex at fourteen seems a bit intense. And the fact that this whole relationship starts in sex… when they’re in high school. I don’t know, I’m used to that plot line in my adult romances, not in a young adult one. It still works brilliantly, but it does make me question a few things about society today. And make me fear having children… what will it be like when they get to their teenage years?
Bianca doesn’t have good coping mechanisms in this story. Which is pretty much what this entire story is about. My coping mechanisms are just as bad, maybe not quite as destructive…but withdrawing into myself and refusing to communicate with others? Yeah… I understand that a little too well. Keeping things to yourself is often not the best way to go, and I hope that someone reads this and realises that they need to readjust their coping mechanisms. I know I definitely considered it.
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