Sunday, December 19, 2010
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
by Kody Keplinger
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 "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that 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.(description taken from Amazon.com)
I initially resisted reading this book because the subject just hit home a little too hard for me. Until I was almost done with college, I wasn't really comfortable in my own skin and I always felt like the "DUFF." I heard great things about this book, though, so when AudioFile was looking for a reviewer, I figured I would give it a shot.
As a Librarian, I'm really glad I read this. It is a great book to recommend to high school girls looking for a quick, realistic read. It does have foul language, violence, and fairly graphic sex scenes, but it is also compelling and almost brutally honest at points. There are some great discussions about self worth, self confidence, societal expectations, abuse, alcoholism, family issues, birth control, and actually a ton of other issues...the best part? These issues are brought up in such a natural way the reader will not feel lectured at all.
Personally, I really related to parts of this book. Having the crush on the hot guy who's mean to you...but you just can't help but like him...I mean, come on - these were high school horomone days! Alternating between feeling good about your accomplishments and never feeling like you will be good enough...pretty enough...just...enough. Been there. Wishing my friends in high school had been as great as Bianca's (my college friends were...btw!).
Though this is not my favorite book this year, it was good. Unexpectedly good for me. I recommend it gets read...for a variety of reasons. Seriously, check it out. You can't help but both root for Bianca and alternately want to smack her around sometimes...but no matter what...you won't put the book down until you've read the last page!
Full disclosure: Audio book received for AudioFile review