I know I’m not the only person who was attracted to this book by the trailer for the movie. It’s funny and mean and it’s got Mae Whitman (who I love) and the gorgeous Robbie Amell. I had to read the book before I saw the movie. It was a lot more fun than I was expecting.
Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown)
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
277 pages, paperback
Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
I won’t lie to you. This book is super clichéd and very predictable, but MAN, if it wasn’t entertaining! I flew through this book in one day at work. It’s definitely fast-paced and it’s got a clear, feel-good message.
We’ve got to talk about Bianca. She’s our MC and the “DUFF” in the title. (Btw, Duff stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend). I loved her right away. She’s sarcastic and witty, a bit of a bitch (sorry for the language!), and independent. When Wesley (think John Tucker) tells her she’s the DUFF of her friend group, she’s pissed. As she should be. But throughout the book, she discovers that she’s not the only girl who feels like the DUFF sometimes. All girls feel like the DUFF sometimes. I’ve felt like the DUFF and so have you. Don’t get mad at me for telling you that she comes to accept herself, because it’s obvious what this book is trying to do. It’s not a spoiler. I was rooting for Bianca to accept herself the whole time. She’s so realistic, so likeable despite her attitude, so relatable. When she decides to distract herself by hooking up with Wesley (who she hates), I understood her. Which was a little weird, because I’d never do something like that, but that’s how real Bianca felt.
The message behind this book – that you should accept yourself no matter what anyone thinks – is so important. Yes, it’s mixed in with a lot of teenage drama and friend fights and all that, but that’s what being a teenager is like these days. This book felt like an honest portrayal of what it’s like to grow up in our society, to constantly be told you must look a certain way to fit in.
We all know that’s a bunch of bullshit (again, sorry for the language). Be you. Dress how you want to. Be with who you like. Don’t let others dictate the way you look, dress, act, love.
The bottom line: The DUFF may be a quick, somewhat light read, but it’s got a great message and a seriously cool and hilarious MC. Yeah, it’s got lots of clichés and we all know what’s going to happen before we even start, but it’s seriously fun to read. If you are even remotely interested in the movie, I’d definitely recommend reading this.
Rating: 7 – Pretty good
Check out the trailer below! I’m going to see it on Friday, so expect a book-to-movie review this weekend!