Monday, May 16, 2016

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger {REVIEW}

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.
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Chick-Lit
Publication Date: September 7th 2010 
             by Little Brown Books for Young Readers/Poppy


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
My Thoughts: 
So I'll try to be very quick about it (Yeah, right). I liked The DUFF. The book, I mean, and not the totally-not-used-to-death-and-full-of-cliches movie. I loved the casting, but god bless the plot *smh*

So our female lead is Bianca Piper. She is a 17 year old high-school student finishing up her senior year. She has two best friends at school, and probably the only friends thanks to her cynicism, Casey and Jessica. She is pretty much a nobody at school but she doesn't give a shit about it. Her friends love her and her parents who are getting a divorce love her as well. She is almost everything I love in my novel heroines- nice to those she cares about, sassy, fun, smart, sarcastic, strong and stubborn. She may appear OTT cynical at times but that's mainly because of her bitter experience from her past. But overall, she is the girl I would wanna know more about at any given day.

Enter Wesley Rush. The hot, the awesome, the wicked and man-whore of the school. Wesley would sleep with anyone or anything remotely resembling a chick. Almost all the girls in the school drool over him, literally and metaphorically. Almost, because our Bianca doesn't share the same enthusiasm when it comes to even sparing a glance at Wesley. Oh no, she hates him. As in HATES him hates him. If Juliet truly loved Romeo, then what Bianca's feelings towards Wesley is just the opposite of that, and thousand times worse. She hates his crooked grin, him pissing her off every now and then and his man-whoring ways. She hates him all the more when he calls herself the Duff, Designated Ugly Fat Friend. How. Dare. He.

And it doesn't help when she is partnered with the same old Wesley Rush. Urrgh.
It's always the class assignments though, innit?

It's at the same time range when Bianca and her defense starts to fall apart. Her family's broken, her dad has gone back to his drinking, her ex who had cheated on her is back in town, and with all these happening in her life, she reaches her breaking point. Now rather than sharing any of it with her best friends or going for a shopping therapy or venting it out on a vending machine, she chooses to go for an escape by...*suspense music* banging Wesley. That's right. Sex as an outlet. And yes, that's a hell load of meaningless casual sex just for the heck of it.

No strings attached.  Yep, that simple.

But just like it happens, it never stays so. Things get messed up for Bianca and she starts escaping. This time from the escape itself. Tch tch, B.

I wouldn't say Bianca's character is relatable, because it's not. This book makes me wonder if I'd been the Duff in my circle all along. The truth is, I don't care. Appearances never bothered me anyway. I'm pretty awesomesauce and I know it XD And though I have the tendency to escape from my problems when it gets too much, I know not to lose myself in my means of escape. And maybe it's just me (and I'm trying really hard to not sound holier-than-thou) but I can't wrap my head around the idea of having sex everyday with the guy someone claims to hate, specially if that makes you feel "dirty" and "used" afterwards.

One more thing that bothered me was the way girls were portrayed in this book. Most (read, all) of the girls at Bianca's school were boy-crazy. It's as if their life depended on the number of guys they hooked up with. Vikki's life-long goal seems to be hooking up with Wesley. Bianca's friend, Jessica is gaga over Harrison, the not-so-covert gay friend of Wesley. Even Bianca seems to have this humongous crush on Toby, the perfect boy from her school. I don't like when girls are reduced to mere men-attracting objects. I don't care is it is supposed to be moralistic or whatever, I do not like it in my books. What more I do not like is stereotyping. How is reading Wuthering Heights a "girly" thing? Someone, please DO tell me. Since I had to study it in my university days and I never once found it remotely girly, my curious mind wants to know -_-

As a character, Wesley is really fun and interesting to read. Since the book is from Bianca's pov, we don't get to see what Wesley thinks or does firsthand. Given the character sketch of Wesley, I would have loved seeing him in action. I really like the little things (as well as the big things) he dos for Bianca. And it's amazing to see how upfront he is about his feelings and wishes, for a change.

The DUFF is basically a teenage novel. It's light-hearted, fun and apart from the things that bothered me, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The ending was movie-ish and I have to admit I like it. I would specially like to recommend it to those who have already seen the movie or are planning to see it, since it's WAY better. The books are always better.

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