The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger Bianca Piper has always managed to keep her life together. She’s smart and resourceful, loyal to her friends and responsible in most aspects of her life. But lately, her life has been spinning a little out of control. Her ex-boyfriend is coming back to town with his fiancée, her parents are getting a divorce and her dad slipped off the sobriety wagon after 18 years. Add to that the label she was recently given by heartthrob Wesley Rush … “The Duff” … Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend. With a multitude of reasons to hate Wesley already, that one pushes her feelings over the edge. Despite that, she finds herself, inexplicably kissing him one night. Hmmm … what better way to distract oneself from the trials and tribulations of real life than meaningless, mindless sex with someone you really can’t stand. She opts for a one night stand which turns into an almost everyday occurrence.

OH ??? Did I forget to mention? Bianca and Wesley are 17-year-old high school students.

Every once in a while I dip into the available pool of YA fiction. Often I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of books (The Book Thief). This one, unfortunately, was an accident that you want to look away from, but just can’t. Granted, its been a lot of years since I was in high-school, and yes I understand that teenagers become different creatures when they are not with family and parents, but this book was over the top. If this is an honest reflection of what high school is like these days then I am also very grateful that my kids are grown and settled. Aside from the language: “slut” “skank” whore” “f*** this” and “f*** that” (yes, yes, yes … I know kids swear but this was unnecessarily excessive) this book glamorized a very poor way of dealing with difficult life situations. I know I am nit picking now, but the title isn’t even accurate. In reading the book it turns out that Bianca is not ugly, nor is she fat. The only redeeming quality to this whole book is the way the author addresses the DUFF issue at the end of the book. Unfortunately, it is at the very end of the book. I wish Keplinger had chosen a different path to get there.

Having raised daughters I think by the time they reached 17 or 18 they would have had no interest in this book and at 13 or 14, it is not a book I would have wanted them to read.