Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Author: Kody Keplinger
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Page Count: 280 pages
Rating: 1/5 stars
Do I Recommend?: No way

Summary from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

(Review under the cut)

Review: I honestly don't think I've ever hated a book so much. I hate to be so harsh, but this book made me so angry that I can't even think about it without being overwhelmed, and I didn't even finish the book. I got about halfway before giving up on it once and for all.

Clary has moved down as my second least favorite fictional character, thanks to The DUFF's Bianca Piper (sorry The Mortal Instruments fans). And I really disliked Clary, so you have no idea how big of a shock it is to me that this happened.

Now, onto my review.

In the beginning, we're introduced to our main character, Bianca Piper. She's at The Nest, a club for teenagers, where she's hanging out at the bar while her best friends are dancing on the dance floor, talking with the "bartender" Joe. Bianca believes that everyone of her classmates are dumb and ignorant, materialistic and just ridiculous. She's the type of girl who'd rather stay in and relax than go out to these clubs and parties that her friends want to go to. She's genuine, she's confident, and I immediately like her.

Then we're introduced to Wesley Rush, the rich hot guy who is a womanizer and sleeps with everyone and anyone he wants. Bianca's mortal enemy (well, in my eyes. I mean, any girl who hates this type of guy is their sworn enemy, right?). Wesley starts chatting her up, just to make himself look good in front of her very good looking friends, and admits to Bianca that she is a DUFF, a Designated Ugly, Fat Friend.

Essentially, In every group of girl friends there is the one girl who is the ugly and/or fat friend, the one who makes the other girls look good. The one whom the other girls might sympathize over, because she isn't as good looking or as popular. The girl who gives you the thumbs up if the guy is a decent person or not. Basically, any guy who befriends an ugly person is a good guy, because that guy is a rare species of man who looks past beauty and truly cares about whats underneath. And isn't that what every girl wants? A man who looks past superficial beauty and only cares whats in your heart?

That is very true. And Wesley knows that very well.

After being called The Duff, Bianca throws her coke in his face, grabs her friends and storms out of the club. I commend her for this, as she's walking out, because that's something I would do. After being called the ugly and fat friend, I'm pretty sure I would have done more than throw my drink at him.

Later on, Bianca walks in on her dad on a very aggressive phone call with her mother. Her mother, a motivational speaker who abandoned them to live her life on the road and perform at various major cities. A mother who never comes home anymore. After hearing the disgruntled one-sided conversation and feeling very overwhelmed, Bianca decides to go out with her friends back to The Nest, and once again, Wesley shows up.

Bianca mentions that her father is a recovering alcoholic, after staying sober for 18 years, which is practically more than Bianca's life (I'm not sure, since we never truly discover Bianca's age, but she's a high school senior, so she's around 17/18). She's never seen him drunk, but has heard that he is a very violent drunk and is too scared to be around him incase that phonecall set him off, which pushes her to leave the house.

Now, Bianca is overwhelmed with the situations with her parents. Her mother, who has abandoned them and barely even cares about them anymore, and her poor, lonely father who misses his wife. Bianca's angry at her mother and worries about her father, and has all this built up anxiety. Then comes Wesley, talking her up again, and before you know it, Bianca kisses him - to let go of the stress.

And she likes it. She liked the kiss. She liked the temporary feeling of nothing. The "high of the kiss," as she calls it. I thought this was ridiculous, but what the hell. It's only the beginning of the book. Things are bound to pick up, right?

It doesn't.

After the kiss, Bianca is desperate to escape her problems once more. So, when she is paired up with Wesley to write an English paper on The Scarlet Letter, their relationship intensifies.

They start having cheap, meaningless sex.

And this is where the book goes to shit.

We all have problems that we all want to escape from, I completely empathize with that. I lose myself in books, or writing, or watching a tv show or a movie. Something mindless and fun and light. Bianca, on the other hand? She decides to have sex with Wesley to avoid her problems. Repeatedly.

Wesley, a guy whom she has repeatedly said makes her skin crawl. Makes her feel dirty.

First of all, if a guy makes my skin crawl, I wouldn't even go near him, let alone have sex with him. I mean are we serious here? And she doesn't have sex with him once, she has sex with him constantly, about four-six times a week. I'm not an expert on sex, but I'm pretty sure that that's way too much sex to be having in a week. 

Not to mention she kept this a secret from her best friends, whom I don't think she even deserved, to be honest. Bianca can't lie to her friends, so to avoid telling them that she's been sleeping with the most popular guy in school, and a guy who she constantly says she hates, she decides to "withhold," to tell them the general truth, without telling him everything. Which basically means telling them nothing. And since she's been spending so much time with Wesley, getting her "high" on, she forgets all about her friends and have ditched them on various occasions, which make her friends, Jessica and Casey angry, especially Casey, her best friend since Kindergarten.

Bianca new attitude towards her friends goes south, and eventually they get tired of her disappearing act and get angry at her for going AWOL, and then Casey starts ignoring her, too. And (lol) get this, Bianca gets mad because Casey is being rude to her!!! Are we serious here!! Do you not see, Bianca, that Casey is mad at you because you keep ignoring her to have cheap sex because you can't handle your petty problems like a woman?? Casey just wants to be your friend and help you and, in turn, you act like a bitch to her. How wonderful.

Oh, and lets not get me started on the situation with her parents! Her mother, after abandoning (yeah, I'm using that word a lot, oh well) her and her father for years, never once calling or anything, comes back home out of the blue, and apologizes. And Bianca completely forgives her! Gives her full immunity and tells her she loves her!


If my mother abandoned me, left me, and my family, I would never forgive her. Even if I understood her feelings, her situation, which Bianca claims she does, I would never forgive her. A mother who leaves her child at all is not a mother. Even if they're unhappy, the mother sticks it out for the child, because the one thing every child needs in their life is a mother and a father.

The writing was also pretty mediocre-like. Keplinger would overuse names in the dialogue and it made me feel weird. Not to mention the dialogue sounded forced, too. Keplinger went through a method of relaying of the information she wanted to let out in the dialogue. None of it sounded natural, it was like the characters were forced to say those things.

I was expecting a love story about a shy girl who's noticed by this rich guy, and doesn't give him the time of day when he tries to bother her and ravel her nerves. A story where the rich guy does look past her imperfections and start to fall in love with her for who she is. I'll admit it, I love romantic stories. They can be sappy and cheesy (although not too cheesy, we gotta cross the line here somewhere) and I'll still love it. But this book was a bomb, and there was no way the book was going to get better after the bomb exploded halfway into the book (I know, I read spoilers about the ended).

I'm sad to say that I truly disliked this book. This book had so much potential, so much! Now, I'm off to calm my self down after getting heated over writing this review. I hope others have a better experience with this book than I did.

Did you like it? Did you think it was a good book? Did you, like me, think it wasn't so great of a book? Please, let me know in the comments below!

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