The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Image result for the duff bookFirst Lines: This was getting old.  Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video.  But I guess guys eat that shit up, don’t they?  I could honestly feel my IQ dropping as I wondered, for the hundredth time that night, why I let them drag me here again.

This was one of those rare cases where I saw the movie before I read the book.  (I thought the movie looked interesting whereas the book…not as much.)  So when I finally bought this for cheap last summer, I got around to reading it eventually.

Bianca Piper is feisty.  She doesn’t take crap from anyone, she’s cynical, and she’s too smart to fall for pick-up lines.  And while she’s unfailingly loyal to her friends, she feels like they’re way prettier than she is.  Enter Wesley Rush, the slimy hottie with no brain to his name.  When Wesley calls her the “Duff”, Bianca throws her Coke in his face.  But Bianca’s home life isn’t great right now and she’s desperate for a distraction.  So she kisses Wesley…and likes it.  Soon, Bianca and Wesley are engaged in an enemies-with-benefits style relationship.  Only that backfires when Bianca realizes that Wesley isn’t that bad after all, that he has problems too, and she may actually be falling for the guy she thought she hated.

I knew going into this book that the book and the movie were supposed to be vastly different.  (I forget who told me that, but at least I knew.)  And they were very different, but they were both good in their own ways.

Bianca is sassy and dark, which I kind of liked, especially since it was so different from her friends. But I just liked her. She knows who she is, but that doesn’t save her from self-confidence issues.  And I feel like that’s realistic because sometimes the people who put up the most confident front are the ones who have the most insecurity.

Actually, I liked pretty much all of the characters. It was easy to see people I know in some of the characters. I thought some of the action was a little over the top, but not unrealistic. Just that things seemed a little too convenient, but not outlandishly so.

Looking back on this, what stands out to me the most is that this book, for all of its fluff, actually covers some really heavy topics.  Alcoholism, absentee parents, stereotypes, self-confidence issues, and more.  That’s what I remember from this book: that it tackled tougher subjects.  As I mentioned, some of it did seem a little over the top, but I thought it was good that it at least talked about them.

The romance was…interesting. It was nontraditional (with the whole hate angle) and a whole lot more…action-y…than I was expecting. It wasn’t bad, just different.  (However, just as a warning, if you aren’t a fan of reading about characters getting it on, you may want to avoid this book.  It happens a lot.)

Also as a general warning, there’s a lot of profanity in this book, if you couldn’t guess from the first lines.  If that bothers you, maybe just stick to the movie.

Anyway, I ended up thinking this was pretty well written and interesting.

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