BOOK REVIEW: The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody KeplingerDuff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger
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Soon to be a major motion picture! Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, 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 was in the middle of asking myself the age-old question-where will I use this in real life?-when I felt a hand on my shoulder. That skin-crawly thing happened, and I knew exactly who was behind me.
Great. Just fucking great.

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Aaaahhhh this book. This book made me so unbelievably happy, it’s unreal. I was completely and utterly obsessed from the minute I picked it up until the moment I put it down. I grumbled when I had to go to sleep and I tossed and turned for what felt like an eternity, struggling internally to keep my head on the pillow and not roll over to pick my Ipad up again. It’s not that it was deep or heartfelt or altogether meaningful, I suppose, but the author created this wonderfully cliched world that I felt myself instantly addicted and drawn to, and these characters embedded themselves deep into my heart where I didn’t ever want to let them go. It didn’t need to be anything other than what it was-fun.

“Hey, you never told me why you were upset the other night,” he said. “You were too busy shoving your tongue down my throat. So what was the problem?”
“None of your-,” I began, but I stopped suddenly. “Hey! I didn’t…there was no tongue!” A shiver of rage ran through me as I noticed his mischievous smile. “You son of a bitch! Get the fuck out of here. God, why are you stalking me? I thought Wesley Rush didn’t chase girls. I thought they chased him, right?”

I’m not going to lie-I was ready for a DNF. I know, I know, total case of judging the book by it’s horrendous cover, but come on, Guys-look at it! Sad. Anyway. I saw the mixed reviews, I heard the movie was better, I found it was full of cliches, and…er….yeah, this is awkward-I heard the author was seventeen when she wrote this. All negative, if you ask me. I know, I’m a total bitch, right? But there were so many alarming red flags that had me so nervous when I picked this one up. And, I’ll admit it, I totally had my nose turned up like a snooty Who from Whoville when I began reading. I was all ‘Hmm. That happened quickly’ and ‘Oh, well she’s a bitch’ or ‘Hmm. I don’t like that they hang out here.’ But oh mah gah was I proven wrong. Each page that passed I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper until I eventually was so wrapped around this book’s pretty little finger that I couldn’t see straight. And you know what?? It’s never felt so good to be wrong.

I was fully conscious of Wesley’s hand as it slid up my torso and moved to cup my breast. With an effort, I pushed him away from me. His eyes were wide as he leaned back. “Please don’t slap me again,” he said.
“Shut up.”

Oh, Bianca, you bitchy little not-so-Duff. The inner workings of her mind were so funny, albeit very opinionated. She definitely had a venomous bite, but I never felt put off by her harsh judgements or crude rationalizations. Her reasons to start hanging with Wesley were wrong from the start, but she never once forgot that fact. Hiding it from her friends, attempting to escape reality, and scrutenizing others that were basically doing the same thing as her, she was in no position to judge…yet she did, repeatedly. And that’s where I think a lot of people might have had a problem with her-but I didn’t. I dunno. I thought that was kind of realistic. I pull a ‘pot calling the kettle black’ frequently when it concerns myself and other people, no matter how nice I am or how much I like people-it’s human nature to be a wee bit judgemental, and I can’t say I’m not…’cuz I am. No, I think my only problem with this whole story was how she continually put herself down. She repeatedly called herself the Duff and questioned why anyone liked her, why Wesley would possibly waste his time with her. It was a very noticeable thing throughout the story, but thankfully I loved her and Wesley so much it just didn’t matter-but I can see how this could possibly annoy others.

I jerked out from under Wesley’s hand and spun to face him, gripping my pencil like a dart and aiming it right at his Adam’s apple.
He didn’t even flinch. His gray eyes examined the pencil with feigned curiosity and he said, “Interesting. Is this how you greet all the boys you like?”
“I don’t like you.”
“Does that mean you love me, then?”

And WESLEY!!! EEPS!! I Can. Not. Believe. How much I loved him. He was cocky. He was arrogant. He was quirky. He was sexy. He gave me butterflies that I continually choked on…Okay. Fuck. I TOTALLY get why I loved him. But that’s besides the point!! From the moment we meet him *cough* page two *cough* I was raising my eyebrow sardonically (Okay, in my head I was. I’d had a couple glasses of wine….but that’s neither here nor there). I mean, we meet him THAT early?? Gag. I hate when that happens. But OMG, my fears were squelched when he not so subtlety inserted himself in her life every single day. They formed this adorable bond that made them secret friends, then secret *bleep* buddies, and then….something more?? I found myself laughing out loud so much when he was around that my smile became permanent. My heart broke the more we found out about him. My heart soared when he defended her. And my smile was depraved when he got jealous. But, mostly, there were butterflies. Endless butterflies.

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This book, to me, was unputdownable. I read it at work. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading it. I lost many hours of sleep over it. And I stayed up until almost one on a work night without even realizing it until I looked up and saw what programming was on tv-randomly, I might add. So, to say I didn’t love this would be false. I adored it. I cherished it. I’m guna go buy the movie version book for my bookshelf (I’m sorry, I can’t do that fugly cover. Just…No.). I, my friends, am still obsessed. I cannot wait until I can read it again.

Cute, funny, heart-warming, and addicting beyond all measure. This young author wrote my dream book for this moment in my life-I will never be so judgemental again (Lies. All lies. But, that would circle the point I’m trying to make-oops) before I really know what I’m talking about. I won’t judge a book by it’s cover. And I will try not to be biased.

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Oops. Just like Bianca. Guess I’ll never learn my lesson *shrugs* but I’m so glad I broke my completely rigid mold of rules for this one.

No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.


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