Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), by Kody Keplinger.

Before crawling under my sheets, I took a glance at the full-length mirror across the room. I searched my reflection with new eyes, with new knowledge. Uncontrollable wavy auburn hair. A long nose. Big thighs. Small boobs. Yep. Definitely Duff material. How had I not known?

I mean, I'd never considered myself particularly attractive, and it wasn't hard to see that Casey and Jessica, both thin and blond, were gorgeous, but still. The fact that I played the role of the ugly girl to their luscious duo hadn't occurred to me. Thanks to Wesley Rush, I could see it now.

Sometimes it's better to be clueless.

This was one of the best YA books I've read in a while, and the 19-year-old author (who was 18 when she wrote and published it) puts my lazy 24-year-old creative writing self to shame in terms of productiveness. I saw the book in a bookstore a while back, but because books are expensive (and I read them far too quickly) I put a hold on it at the library and it finally came in for me this week.

The book follows Bianca, who hangs out with Casey and Jessica, both of whom are very pretty. One day when she and her friends are out at a dance club, Wesley, the school hottie (but also manwhore) comes up to her and starts talking to her, since he wants to eventually sleep with one of her friends. He calls her a DUFF and when she learns what it means, she is not happy, to say the least. Bianca is having a lot of family problems at home, too, and Wesley keeps talking to her, so one day she basically throws herself at him; the real fun starts, however, when he kisses her back.

I read a lot of YA books but I liked how "real" Bianca felt. We've all felt like the DUFF at some point in our lives, I'm sure, but she really took the word to heart, and it was only later that she confronted Wesley about it, since he calls her "Duffy" throughout the whole novel.

I look forward to Keplinger's next novel, Luststruck, which will be released this fall, according to her blog.

4 stars out of 5.


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