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The DUFF Book Review – Designated Ugly Fat Friend (2021)

Kody Keplinger

Talented authoress Kody Keplinger was born on the 8th of August, 1991, in Owensboro, Kentucky, United States of America. Kody’s works are really something.

They belong to the Young Adult and romance genres, though humor is undeniably an important part of her stories. The Keplinger’s novels have been present on the NYT and USA Today bestseller lists, too.

The DUFF Book

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The DUFF 8.54/10 280 Pages Check Price On Amazon


The debut novel of Keplinger was written when she was just seventeen-years-old and it was even adapted into a movie, picked as a YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers. The novels of Kody are primarily aimed at readers in middle school and young adults. The inspirations of Kody were J. K. Rowling, Jane Austen, and Sarah Dessen.


When Keplinger isn’t busy creating a story, she can be frequently found discussing body positivity on her social media, talking about her preferred TV series, and Keplinger is even a YouTube content creator. Even more notably, Keplinger is the co-founder of Disability in KidLit along with being a teacher in New York City at the Gotham Writers Workshops. Now, having noted all of that, we can proceed with our book review.

Movie Adaptation

This book is without a doubt the most famous novel by Kody Keplinger. After all, the novel made waves back in 2010 when it was published and it has even been adapted into a motion picture. The DUFF book is a part of Kody Keplinger’s loved series named Hamilton High which is comprised of four works. For more information, take a look at our article about the best high school romance books.

Clever and Funny

The novel at hand is one that perfectly blends frankness, clever storytelling, humor, and a fine dose of touching characters. It encompasses and tackles problems that many a teenager is tasked with weathering; no one is averse to falling in and out of love, being at a crossroads with a friend, having anxieties and being insecure about something, and trying to juggle school with family life.

The DUFF book delves into this facet of teenage life without falling down the rabbit hole of self-pity, but relishes in the frivolity and lightheartedness that comes with our high school life. The pacing of the novel is top-notch and the read is breezy while having a gripping, striking story to tell.

Jumping Into the Life of a High-Schooler

The main character of the novel is Bianca Piper. Like many high school attendants, Bianca can be a singularly cynical and sarcastic person, though she retains an air of humility and faithfulness about her. Her two best friends know that Bianca can be a bit much with her cynicism – one that never fails to make the reader at least guffaw –, but they still love her all the same.

A chance night out with Bianca and her best friends is what leads Bianca to a revelation. The party was going rather fine, when Bianca could be observed speaking to Wesley. Wesley is widely regarded as the promiscuous male of their school. The wisdom of Wesley had seemingly escaped many people prior to Bianca as he uncovers to Bianca a truth both bittersweet and undeniable: Bianca is what is known as a DUFF.

Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Bianca is told that being a group’s DUFF means that she is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Bianca, of course, doesn’t take kindly to this revelation and her exterior reaction doesn’t convey her being convinced of such a dumb thing. On the interior, however, Bianca is sent spiraling down a bit of a crisis: is she really only a role to play among her tightly-knit group?

What’s worse is that back home isn’t looking promising; she has frequent troubles with her parents and they have even more frequent problems between themselves. Bianca can’t help but feel that everything around her is crumbling to dust and she can’t do anything but just remain idle. If she can’t do anything to stop things from breaking apart, then at least she can busy herself with something, even if that something is dumb.

An Unlikely Deal

As it turns out, at school, Bianca is given an assignment to work on, but this assignment doesn’t encompass only her. No, it’s not her best friends that are to be her partners, but Wesley himself. As they get down to doing their project, Bianca senses that what she needs is a diversion of sorts; something to keep her mind off of everything else and this something is going to be Wesley. The two of them mingle and get to know each other, but the pretense of their little affair is that it is just a no strings attached fling.

No one else can know of it and it is strictly based on their carnal needs. With time, however, it becomes evident that she and Wesley are quite similar. Their family lives are less than stellar, they try to distract themselves from their troubles, and for all intents and purposes, they like each other. So, what can they do when they go against the very pretense of their little fling?

What’s Next?

Our The DUFF Book Review – Designated Ugly Fat Friend can’t spoil all the fun since the novel is wholly endearing, enjoyable, and very, very entertaining. Do yourself a favor and pick it up as soon as possible. The Hamilton High series of Keplinger has three more novels in its composition and they are all sure to entertain the reader while delivering a potent message.

Alissa Wynn
Alissa Wynn
Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.