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

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat FriendThe DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 7, 2010
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 280
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★

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.

The DUFF was a super quick and easy read, which I LOVE! But more importantly, The DUFF dug into some pretty intense and kind of taboo high school issues. These are a lot of the things that we think about, but may not say out loud.

  • Am I the ugly one in my group of friends?
  • Is there something wrong with me or are we all just figuring stuff out?
  • Am I a slut?
  • Are friends-with-benefits relationships okay?

The DUFF is an awesome read for anyone, but particularly for people who are in high school (or college) and trying to get their shit together. If you feel awkward, different, unsure, or out of place, this book will rock your universe!

The only reason I gave The DUFF 4 stars and not any higher is because Bianca did get a little annoying towards the end. She started ignoring her totally obvious feels and I hate it when characters do that. That’s about when I start yelling at the main character through the book… literally. View Spoiler »

The DUFF is an awesome airplane book (that’s where I read it!). It’s super quick (only 280 pages) and totally happening. It’s also a good book to read if you’re in a bit of a slump. The DUFF will pull you out for sure! Just follow the light!

The Verdict


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    1. You totally should! 🙂 I haven’t seen the movie but I think I’d like to after having read the book.

    1. Hmm interesting. I haven’t seen the movie trailer—I’ll have to check it out!

  1. I really enjoyed The DUFF when I read it this fall; I picked it up on a whim one evening, and didn’t stop until it was done, which was sometime around 2:30am. Not the most responsible decision on a work night, but it is what it is. I graduated from high school in 2007, but I still think it was pretty relatable… no matter who we are or what we look like, everybody feels inferior to somebody.

    Sarah @ Sarah Can't Stop Reading recently posted: TOP TEN BOOKS I'D LOVE TO SEE MADE INTO TV SHOWS/MOVIES
    1. Yeah I definitely think this is one of those books that’s pretty timeless.

  2. Yeah this is definitely an airplane or beach bag book. I liked it too, although I was a bit shocked by it. Are really so much sex happening in high schools now… I felt so old lol. 😀
    And I completely agree with you, the way Bianca ignored Wesley and went with the other guy just because he’s perfect on paper. I hate when people do that. :/

    1. Haha, I know, right? I feel like I missed out on a lot of what goes on in high school because I was a quiet introvert. I didn’t go to parties and such, where I would have seen this drama unfold, you know? But I’m fine with that. 😉

    1. I hope you like it. 🙂

      I haven’t seen the movie, but reading the book has made me interested in watching it!

  3. You’ve sort of convinced me on this one! I have heard that the book and the movie are very unalike as far as adaptations go, and the premise you presented sounds a lot more fun than the movie one does! Plus it’s a total contemporary summer read. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to end up in my next online book shopping basket! Great post 😀

    1. If you get around to reading it then I hope you LOVE it! 😀 Fingers crossed!

      And yes, I have heard that the movie and book are quite different, but I haven’t yet seen the movie.

  4. I really liked the DUFF, too, especially how it problematizes the gossip mill & slut shaming (I wanted to add “in high school” but none of that really stops with high school, does it?). I hate to say a book “changed” me or anything but I’ve been trying to be more mindful of what I say about other people since I’ve read this one, which can only be a good thing.
    And yes, I agree with your “gah” moment, but then Bianca was 17 so she was bound to make some mistakes, right?

    Kaja recently posted: Venice in a Day
  5. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Kody Keplinger, but I haven’t gotten around to reading one of her books. This reminded me that I definitely need to pick one of her books up soon. Great review!

  6. It makes me so happy whenever I see someone who’s loved The DUFF! This book is so special to me, as it inspired me a lot when it comes to my issues with insecurity.
    Plus I also loved the cynical Bianca and her swoonworthy romance with Wesley!
    Great review Ashley!

  7. I thought about reading this book. With your review made me want to do the reading, thank you for sharing your experience.

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