Magan: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Released: September 7, 2010
Pages: 280
Target Audience: Young Adult
How I found out about it: It was on the recent return pile at my local library and I’d considered checking it out 1.5 million times before.
: Hardcover borrowed from the library.
Summary:Bianca is crazy tough and super critical; she has two amazing best friends and life is coasting along as normal until a few things happen. 1) Her Mom files for divorce. 2) The boy who broke her heart returns to town. 3) Wesley (resident hottie) calls her the DUFF – designated ugly fat friend. 4) As a way to escape the chaos of her life, she and Wesley become involved.

Oh, let me count the ways I love Kody Keplinger.  Can I first take a moment to give her major props for being eighteen years old and in her senior year of high school when she wrote this book? Wow to how un-accomplished I felt when I read that on the back flap of the book.

Just by the title of the book I felt certain that I’d be able to connect with the story. Designated Ugly Fat Friend = DUFF.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in a circle of friends, this term implies that one girl isn’t quite up to par so that everyone else looks prettier by comparison. Did you ever have those moments in high school (and, hello, let’s just be real for a minute – even today) where you felt uglier than your friends? Less than? Substandard?

I did. I got my curves at an early age and begrudgingly welcomed womanhood into my life a lot earlier than I would have liked, all while the rest of my friends remained sticks. Bianca’s two best friends, Casey and Jessica, were characters I admired. Though Bianca did feel like the “ugliest” friend, I didn’t ever feel like she was treated in any way that suggested she was being used by them. I applaud Keplinger for keeping it real and for really bringing out our girly insecurities. In the end, she makes a beautiful point about how we’re all insecure. We all have our baggage and issues.

Bianca chooses deal with her drama in a very physical way. Whereas I go shopping when I’m feeling down and blue, Bianca starts a fling with Wesley – the very boy who calls her out as the DUFF. Their relationship is unhealthy and wrong on so many levels; they’re both using each other and not dealing with any of the issues in real life. Despite their very sexual relationship and Wesley’s womanizer attitude, I admired the boy. He stood up for Bianca at all the right times, he said some of the funniest things that made me belly laugh and want to read through the pages as fast as I could to discover what happened when everything imploded in their lives.

This was my first Keplinger novel, but I’ll definitely be picking up another soon. In fact, Shut Out was released September 5, 2011. Oh, happy day!

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