Bianca is a seventeen-year-old high school senior with two beautiful and sweet best friends who care for her deeply. She is cynical, loyal and self-conscious. She knows she is the least attractive member of her tight-knit group of friends.
Wesley Rush is the school man-slut and when he approaches Bianca one evening at the local teen lounge in order to go through her to hook up with one of her friends, she throws the Cherry Coke she is holding in his face. During this incident, Wesley informs Bianca that she is the Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) in her circle. And Bianca knows he’s right. The next few days, she simply can’t get this moniker out of her head, and the rest of her life also seems to be spiralling out of control.
As Bianca’s home life falls apart, she strikes up a secret affair with Wesley as a means of distraction and escape. She distances herself from her best friends and doesn’t communicate with either of her parents as their marriage falls apart. When things finally start to get better at home, Bianca decides to end it with Wesley.
This was a very thought provoking and emotionally charged novel about self esteem and how relationships change as we grow up. I enjoyed the characters and particularly the strength demonstrated by Bianca as she faced difficult challenges in her life and made important discoveries about herself and others in the process. Recommended for a mature teen audience.