My 49th book this 2011.
The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is hidden beneath my copies of regency romance novels. What made me read this YA book is the title. Okay, DUFF? Never heard of it before, it caught my interest and started reading the pages and finished it in one day.
The first question that instantly popped into my mind was that, was I the DUFF in my clique? Did I just sit in one corner and watched my friends enjoy themselves? Well, I really don’t think so. I really didn’t think we had a DUFF, I think we all were at some point of our lives.
The story revolves around a cynical teen named Bianca. Bianca Piper, a seventeen year-old girl in her senior year, is a fantastic character that can make you laugh. She has two great friends who really love her and a dysfunctional family who loves her as well. Wesley described her perfectly: What you are is an intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal and compassionate girl. She tends to bottle up her problems and finds a way to escape them.
Rather than dealing with her issues, Bianca or B to her friends, mastered the art of escapism. Understandable for teens, most of us had been there. But unlike the usual teens who lose themselves in a good book or movie, she loses herself in the bed of her arch-enemy, the man-whore himself, Wesley Rush. The guy she hates so much. So I guess there is REALLY a thin line between love and hate.
Bianca may sound real to you, but Wesley Rush seemed to come out of a fairytale. Although I like his character development, he started out as a jerk in the beginning and turned into a prince-charming who learned the consequences of his actions and showed a possibility of becoming a future decent and normal teen. I love the way he harassed B in the latter part, sending her nice flowers and a note in class stating: “Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you”.
What is more surprising in this book is that the author discussed teen sex. Her dealing of the controversial topic is very honest. I have never expected it in a YA novel, having read some way back (and even now). It didn’t seem to appear that Keplinger excuse or forbid sex, rather she just presented reality. She included sex scenes in her book with tact that many other YA authors failed to do.
The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is a smart, honest, funny and heart-warming novel. It revolves around the vital issues that teens deal – family, friendship, love and insecurities. The issues may look heavy to you, but this is really a light and effortless read. The book is really nice and you will want to pick it up again just in case you are in a bad mood and need to lighten up.
- No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.
- Escape is impossible, so why not embrace it