The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Bianca, a cynical girl, is in her senior year of high school and thoroughly hating it. To her, what’s not to hate? There was the blindingly bright blue and orange of her school, the local club her friends always dragged her to, and worse of all, womanizing playboy, Wesley Rush. He was the first person to her dub her as a DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. However, as she faces problems with her family that become too much to handle, she seeks escape with Wesley, set on keeping a no-strings-attached physical relationship with him. As time goes on though, to her utter horror, she finds herself actually caring about him.
This book was absolutely eye opening. It was a book embedded in common troubles facing teens, such as strong insecurities, labels, and family dilemmas, ending happily but with a message of self positivity. It sounds like a typical feel-good coming-of-age novel when said like that, but it’s anything but. We’re thrown into Bianca’s world in a first person narration, in the throws of her fears for her dad, confusion about her feelings about Wesley, and a good amount of pages that viewer – uh, reader discretion is advised. It’s a bit like watching a good TV drama in motion with wonderful characters, including Bianca’s beautiful best friends; Casey, the savior of the three, and Jessica, the kind-hearted soul. Wesley’s own problems are heart wrenching and to see Bianca’s character fix him is astounding. Overall, this story is new and refreshing, albeit being definitely for more mature audiences. I loved the characters, the overall plot, and the cute banter throughout the book. A must read for anyone who loves a good drama!
Written by Veeshva R.