Goodreads Description - 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.
My Favourite Quote: "No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually".
I have never heard of the term The Duff (The Designated Ugly Fat Friend) before I bought this book. I thought maybe it was just a term used in the States. But apparently not. It is even used here in Australia. As I was paying for the book at the counter, the owner of the bookstore said 'we used to use the same phrase 20 years ago. Every group has a DUFF'.
It got me thinking about what role I played in my group. Was I The Duff? But after reading this I realised it is not a bad thing thanks to Keplinger. As Bianca says "I was the Duff. And that was a good thing . Because anyone who didn't feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes.......I should be proud to be the Duff. Proud to have great friends who, in their mind, were my Duffs." That is just one of the reasons why I loved this book.
The DUFF is funny, smart, honest, and a heartwarming. It is about all the important issues that all teens deal with - love, friendship, family and insecurities. Sounds like an emotional read but it is not really. It had that lighter fun feel to it. A book that you will want to pick up and read again just to feel good. And I am amazed this is Keplinger debut novel and she was only 17 when she wrote it. It is a effortless read that had a nice pace and was always entertaining.
Bianca, is instantly likeable character that cause me laughter and heart ache. I think Wesley sums her up perfectly "What you are is an intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal, compassionate girl". She is confused at times and definitely has some family issues but completely relatable. Bianca doesn't deal with her issues and rather bottles them up inside and looks for other ways to escape them.
Now on to my dear Wesley. He makes a great distraction for Bianca. I have to admit at first I disliked him with a passion but as he grew on Bianca, he grew on me too. Definitely a sweetheart (well kind of) hiding as a bad boy. And when you put Bianca and Wes together sparks fly. These two would have to be one of my favourite literary couple because of their witty banter.
The only tiny issue I had with this book was the ending. I liked Bianca and Wes' ending that wasn't the problem. But rather the secondary characters - all there issues seemed to be resolved perfectly especially Bianca's Dad and Toby. It was just a tiny bit too perfect because we all know not everybody gets happy endings.
Overall, The DUFF is a fantastic debut that you shouldn't miss.
Note: Lots of colourful language and sex scenes. So if you are sensitive to this maybe this book isn't for you.
Want more info: Check out Kody Keplinger website.
Keplinger is working on her second novel called A Midsummer's Nightmare. Here is what Keplinger says in an interviews about it "I had a story about a girl who has a one-night stand with a boy who later becomes her stepbrother. My next project is very much inspired by the dark, twistedness of my favorite movie EVER–Cruel Intentions" Check out Old people writing for teens interview with Keplinger.