Why did I want to read this book?
This book will have a movie adaptation. I recently saw the movie trailer and I fell seriously in like with it. It seemed really interesting, especially with that kind of title. I immediately bought an ebook and read it in one sitting.
What worked for me?
I love the two themes that I got from this book. One is about the power of labels and the other one is about the things you do to escape whatever it is that you need to escape from.
Labels can be powerful weapons, to lift you up or to bring you down. DUFF, as in Designated Ugly Fat Friend, is essentially one that can totally bring a person down. But Bianca is a strong one and I like that about her. Yes, the label did plague her. But she didn’t let it define her completely. By the end of the book, I love how the author and Bianca come to terms with this label and the whole idea behind it. And it was such an uplifting point of view. Kudos to the author.
On escapism, I can relate to Bianca. We get our escapes from wherever we can sometimes, right? And for Bianca, she turned to and got it from Wesley Rush. But the thing with escaping is that sooner or later you have to face reality because either you get tired running or reality just catches up to you eventually. And I love when Bianca realizes that she has to face her present and deal with all her issues.
Now, Wesley Rush. He started off as this jerk who calls you a label and does it to your face. I was really ticked off by that first meeting. Way to make an impact on the readers, Wesley. But I guess he suffers from labels as well as he’s known for being a man-whore of sort who’d sleep with anybody. But like the other characters in this book, there’s something more to know about him when you go deeper. And I really appreciate that.
I was also really pleased that the author made Bianca’s friends, Casey and Jessica, multidimensional characters. They weren’t there as mere and superficial contrasts to Bianca. They’re real and true friends and I love seeing that side of the story.
What did not work for me?
I would have liked more Wesley Rush. He’s such an interesting character. I would have really enjoyed hearing this story from his POV.
My over-all take on it?
This is a very interesting and entertaining story about how people cope or try to cope with their problems in life. It’s a story about being able to face your issues head on and not just escaping to whatever it is that makes us forget. Bianca is such an intense character for me and so is Wesley Rush, though I would have like to have seen or heard from him more. The friendships are one to watch out for here and of course, the romance. The romance was both expected and unexpected and I’d leave you to read it to find out why.
Check out the movie trailer:
“I always felt like the ‘ugly girl’ in high school, so when I was introduced to the word during my senior year, I knew I was the Duff. The idea of writing a book with DUFF as the title started as a joke, but when I realized that my friends felt like Duffs, too, I knew I had to write this story!”
—Kody Keplinger on her inspiration for THE DUFF, her debut novel
Kody Keplinger was born in raised in small-town western Kentucky. She wrote her first novel, The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) during her senior year of high school. She now lives in New York City with her German shepherd, Corey, where she writes full-time and teaches the occasional writing workshop. When she isn’t writing, Kody is probably exploring the city, eating Thai food, or creating a new plan to become Tina Fey’s best friend.
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