Title: The Duff
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Hodder Books
Bianca Piper is a seventeen-year-old girl with 2 best friends who look like Teen Vogue models and naturally, when you are an average-looking girl, people tend to notice your friends more than they notice you. This is fine for Bianca, until school’s manwhore-slash-jock tells her that she’s the “duff”
“I actually need your help. You see, your friends are hot. And you, darling, are the Duff.”
“Is that even a word?”
“Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend,” he clarified. “No offense, but that would be you.”
Wesley Rush is Hamilton High’s one and only manwhore and almost every girl falls for his charms at one point. According to him, ‘hot’ girls like boys who get along well with the Duffs of their (the girls’) group. He approaches Bianca so that one of Bianca’s best friends (the ones that look like Teen Vogue models) will go home with him that night. Why beat around the bush when you can actually go talk to the girls? Simple, because:
“Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls. They chase him.”
But it’s clear that talking to Wesley Rush is the last thing Bianca wants to do. They constantly bicker and the amount of sarcasm in their conversations is killing me—witty and cynical? Yes please.
“Spanish, huh?” he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. “Can you say anything interesting?”
“El tono de tu voz hace que queria estrangularme.” I stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.
“That sounds sexy,” he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of Spanish work he’d swept together. “What’s it mean?”
“The sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself.”
However, I’m sure you all know the saying “There’s a thin line between love and hate.” Bianca and Wesley eventually develop a
friends enemies-with-benefits relationship and one of them crosses that thin line.
Besides this relationship with Wesley, things aren’t good at home for Bianca. Her dad and mom face reality and that leaves Bianca to pick up the pieces. And because she has a habit of keeping everything bottled in, she doesn’t talk to her friends about what’s happening between her and Wesley and the things that happen at home. In time, they become distant and Bianca doesn’t quite realize this until Casey talks to her about it.
Occassionally, her attitude towards her friends disturbed me. I think it was because I can’t do without my friends—literally. I’m not the most independent person and I expect others to be the same way so when Bianca managed to survive without talking to her friends for a while. She always talked about how bad it felt to lie to her friends but I didn’t understand why exactly she had to lie to them.
The character development is unbelievable, though. Bianca isn’t insecure about her looks until Wesley calls her “the Duff” (and keeps addressing her as “Duffy”) and these names make her feel bad (which is totally normal) and towards the end of the book, she realizes that not everything is about “looks”. The girls talk about everything and solve their problems. And finally, Wesley is introduced as a player but his friendship with Bianca changes him and we then see him say:
“Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.”
I didn’t want to talk about the development too much because I think it’s better when you see it yourself. It made the book more realistic and relatable.
“Calling Vikki a slut or a whore was just like calling somebody the Duff. It was insulting and hurtful, and it was one of those titles that just fed off the inner fear every girl must have from time to time. Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point.”
The book was quick paced and very fun to read. I started reading it this morning and finished around 5 pm. Definitely a good book to get rid of a reading slump.
In conclusion, besides the frustration Bianca sometimes caused in me (took off 0.5 points because of that), The Duff was an amazingly relatable book about friendship and self-development and yes, you should read it.
PS: I saw the trailer for the movie and I don’t think I’m going to like the movie. I haven’t even watched the whole movie but I still understood that it was going to be a lot different from the book.
Another PS: I used so many quotations from the book because like I said 2-3 times, the book was incredibly relatable to me especially since I’m also not very confident about myself and my looks and I wanted to prove that to everyone.