Friday, May 19, 2017

THE DUFF: DESIGNATED UGLY FAT FRIEND BY KODY KEPLINGER - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger.


When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued. I knew the basic premise but it didn't catch me enough to read it right away. And then the movie came out and I still hadn't read it. I'm still not sure what made me pick it up today, but I'm glad I did.

This story follows 17-year-old Bianca who is navigating life in high school. She's having some family troubles and one night, while she's out with her friends, she decides she's had enough. When the school's biggest playboy, Wesley, comes over to talk to her claiming she is the DUFF, designated, ugly, fat friend and that in order to get in good with her friends, Wesley has to be nice to her, Bianca is hurt and mad. In a fury, she kisses him and their relationship develops into an enemy with benefits situation.

I am really torn with this book. On the one hand, I loved that sassy comments, the relationship between Bianca and Wesley and just the general setup of the story. But on the other, I struggled with the slut-shaming and just meanness of some of the characters comments. Part of me wants to hate this book for including these negative elements but I am quick to recognize that they are, unfortunately, a part of today's society. The judgement and name calling continue whether or not Keplinger addresses them in this book.

I'm not sure that Keplinger handled Bianca's home life issues well, there were times when I wasn't sure what was happening. One second Bianca hated her mother and then the next she was back to liking her. I understand her confusion of emotions with all that was happening, but I just got the sense that those issues weren't really as big of a part of her life as we are led to believe.

I enjoyed Keplinger's portrayal of Wesley. He was a womanizing playboy but he was honest. He never led anyone on, and even though some might not agree with his lifestyle, as he calls it, Keplinger is able to show who he really is underneath it all.

I just really appreciated the dynamic between Bianca and Wesley. So often we get books with a Wesley-type character who finds the shy, innocent, sweet girl and shows her there's more to life while she reforms him. In this book, while Bianca has an effect on Wesley, she initiates. She is the one who, against everything she stands for, goes after him. I found that really refreshing. And Bianca as a character is sarcastic and sassy, she doesn't like to let anyone push her around - Wesley was no exception.

I definitely don't think this book is perfect but for a quick little romance read, it is exactly what I was looking for.

Overall, recommend if you are in the mood for something a little different.