Being the “designated ugly fat friend” must suck… right?
There are books that make you laugh, make you smile, make you think, and are just plan fun! This book is all of the above. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger was such a pleasant reading surprise and you just may be glad that you took the risk with this young adult adventure. While there are tons of predictable moments throughout the book, it’s easy to overlook those and appreciate the story in its entirety.
The DUFF follows witty high-schooler, Bianca Piper, and her internal struggle with self-esteem, home life and her conflicting feelings for a charming yet smug Wesley Rush. While this plot is not especially unique, the way that Keplinger portrays her characters and makes the reader fall in love with each of them is a very special experience.
Books can typically fall into three categories: those that are world-driven, those that are character-driven, and those that are driven by both aspects. This particular book fall into the character-driven aspect. Wesley and Bianca, along with the supporting cast in Casey, Jessica, and Bianca’s parents, really create the contagious and lovable experience of what it’s like to be in high school and what it’s like to fall in love.
Bianca is categorized as the girl who definitely walks in the shadows. She’s the type of girl that doesn’t allow herself to be influenced by the crowd. And that is definitely a trait to be admired. But even that trait had the potential to make her boring. But that’s when her best friends, Casey and Jessica, saved Bianca’s character development and made it that much more interesting. Each main character always needs that person to challenge them and to help spearhead their developmental journey. And while Wesley plays the biggest role in that, Casey and Jessica do it on a more subtle level. And it was really fun. Not overdone or unbelievable.
As it turns out, Wesley’s character isn’t as predictable as one might assume it to be. He starts off exactly as one might imagine, but throughout the story, he doesn’t quite turn out to be exactly what’s expected. From being to end, Wesley’s bad boy essence remains. His development happens when and where it counts.
There are a few deeper moments throughout the book that, quite frankly, had the highest possibility of being cheesy and taking the reader out of the story. But it didn’t happen. You may really sympathize (and even empathized at some points) with Bianca, with Wesley, and with many other characters. Keplinger created real life moments for readers to relate to, because quite frankly, either people have been through these particular situations themselves or they know someone who has. Either way, there are several moments of personal connection through this book.
The DUFF is a very heartwarming, charming, funny and enjoyable read. While, not the most profound book, there are definite lessons and takeaways that one can obtain and live by from this book.
Click on the image below to enter in our giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The DUFF movie tie-in paperback!
Also, be sure to check out the upcoming adaptation in theaters starting February 20th!