Book Tuesday: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend


Title: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: YA
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Pages: 280

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.

This book.  I remember it popping up on my Goodreads suggestions page a while ago and I was intruged, but then like so many other books I get recommended, I added it to my TBR pile and soon forgot about it.  WHY DID I DO THAT?!

Bianca is out with her friends one night when she is approached by Wesley Rush.  The hottest boy in school who also happens to be the biggest man whore around.  He strikes up a conversation and informs her that she is the DUFF of her group of friends and he’s only talking to her because it will make him look good to her friend that he is interested in hooking up with.  Bianca promptly responds, and rightly so, by throwing a cherry coke in his face.  However, stress at home and with her friends cause her to surprisingly find distraction and comfort in Wesley, even though she still loathes him (something she reminds him of any chance she gets).  Her feelings however start to grow and she’s faced with the scary realization that she might be falling for the guy she is supposed to hate.

I expected this book to be a typical, trite, high school YA novel, but it was so much more than that.  It dealt with some major heavy issues that I wasn’t expecting and it seemed really mature for its genre.  Bianca was such a great MC with a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor and view of life.  I loved her one liners and her relationship with Wesley.

“Your sense of humor needs some work, then,” Wesley suggested. “Most girls find my jokes charming.”
“Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over.”  

You could really relate with her on a lot of things.  Casey and Jessica, Bianca’s best friends were the kind of friends you hope to have in life.  They were great contrasts to Bianca’s sourness and kept her from becoming too cynical of life.  Wesley was a bit predictable, but still very likable.  I loved that there was a lot more to him than people saw.  His relationship with his sister Amy was great.

Bianca and Wesley’s relationship was really interesting to see develop because I felt they were acting more like people in their twenties rather than high school.  Their approach to love and relationships seemed rather mature, but if you think about their family lives, it was understandable.  Speaking of family life, some of it got quite dark at times, which was completely unexpected.  In fact a lot of the plot dealt with Bianca’s family life which wasn’t what I was expecting based on the description.  I loved it though because it just went to show nobody is perfect.

I finished this book in three hours and while I was reading it, my friend Jess texted me.  She had read the book the night before and we were obsessing.  Of course we made plans to see the movie because well DUH, although from the trailer, I knew they had changed things drastically from the book.  We did enjoy it, but it was a completely different story.  I don’t know why they bothered calling it The Duff when they kept practically nothing from the book.  If you take it as a completely separate entity though, it’s a cute HS movie–just don’t go in there expecting the same plot.

This book was really great and touched a lot on so many issues young girls go through–self esteem, peer pressure, relationships, family dynamics, finding yourself–hell, it’s things even adults still go through.  Pick this one up if you’ve ever felt like the DUFF which, if you’re a normal human being, everyone has at some point in their lives.  And you know what? It’s totally ok.



  1. […] similar themes to The DUFF, this book will make you realize that nobody is perfect and to embrace those imperfections.  […]

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