The Duff – aka The Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kodie Keplinger! Synopsis: 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.
I’ve heard nothing but great things about The Duff, ever since watching the trailer. BookTube really got me interested, as I had never heard of it before then. I feel like I’ve seen the cover years ago, but I’m not sure, but the idea of The Duff intrigued me. The DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. At first glance, it seems like a harsh title to give someone, but once reading, I could definitely feel as if this was happening in high schools across America. Especially with all the terms teens come up with these days. (Thanks, Urban Dictionary for helping me with the hip lingo.) The story centers around Bianca, who isn’t like many other girls. She’s got attitude and does what she wants. She doesn’t really questions or life or friends until a dude named Wesley Rush calls her a Duff. She’d never heard of the term before, but once learning it, starts to slowly go crazy over it. She starts to compare herself to her friends, that is until she starts confiding in Wesley. She kisses him one night at the Nest, the nightclub for teens. It feels like a drug because she feels all of her problems fade away. But like all things, life catches up to you. I honestly didn’t know what the point of the book was during the first half. I understood that she didn’t want to be a Duff anymore, that she wished for her home situation to get better, but it didn’t really seem to have an end goal. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, I thought it was still really great without needed a point, but it wasn’t until the second half that I got a grasp on where the story was going. Bianca has to help her dad, let her mom move on, figure out if Toby, the boy she’s had a crush on for ages, is right for her or is it Wesley? So many loose ends to tie, but it came together wonderfully. While Bianca’s friends seemed a bit cliché, I found the characters of Bianca and Wesley to be great. Bianca did come off a bit rude at some points, but she seemed very relatable. Wesley was charming, but also vulnerable and it really showed, especially in the last half of the book. All in all, I gave this book a 4/5 stars. It was a smooth read and taught some valuable lessons in the end. I have seen the movie since reading this and I also highly recommend it!