Book Review: The DUFF

Published By: Poppy
Publication Date: September 2010
Page Count: 280
Source: Amazon Vine UK
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

The Duff isn't a work of great literary achievement... but it was very entertaining. I read it in next to no time at all and found myself smirking away on several occasions.

I will add a note of caution though to my review - there is frequent and strong swearing and a lot of casual sex involved, so this wouldn't make an ideal read for someone younger. I think this is more 'New Adult' than 'Young Adult'. The premise is based on a girl, Bianca, being told by the school's hot boy, Wesley, that she is the Duff to her best friends - a Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Someone who makes them look hotter by association, and Wesley thinks that by spending time chatting to Bianca, her hot friends are more likely to give him a chance. I loved how Bianca reacted to that... she threw her drink all over him and turned herself into a character I love.

Naturally, she then hates him with the fire of a thousand Suns... but somehow she ends up talking to him more and more. Initially it starts out as the simple swapping of insults and dirty looks, but as Bianca's home life starts to fall apart, she starts to thrive off their interaction, and decides to use Wesley to escape from it all... because he makes her forget about her problems, and when she kisses him, the world goes away. I wasn't such a fan of her using him, but at no time did Wesley object to being used, and he was totally aware of it. Still, not the best message to send out to potentially distressed teens... casual sex isn't the best way to deal with problems! At least contraception was mentioned though!

So why four stars? I loved how Wesley and Bianca came to see right through each other and realise that they really cared for each other. That they would fall in love was obvious, but I loved how it happened and Wesley really grew up. Bianca settled down and faced some problems too.

All in all, a great fun read but not for young ones!

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.


  1. I read this one a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

  2. She really knows how to write high school. Love the relationship:)

    Lovely review:)

  3. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did... this is one where the name and cover of the book maybe do it a slight disservice.

  4. I love this book, is realistic and funny

  5. Man, talk about enemies to lovers. It would take me awhile to get over someone calling me such horrible names. That boy had better redeem himself!

  6. I've heard good things about this one. Biance sounds like a great character!


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