Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger | Book & Movie Thoughts!

23rd Feb 2015 Lety @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Lety

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger | Book & Movie Thoughts!The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy
Pub Date: September 7th 2010
Pages: 280
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

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.

This books’ main character, Bianca Piper, it totally relatable. She was incredibly snarky and cynical to no end. She is just your average girl, nothing incredibly noteworthy about her that anyone could tell at first glance. When I first heard the term “D.U.F.F.” and what it stood for, I was appalled. It is such a cruel label to give someone. Bianca felt the same way when Wesley so kindly pointed out to her that she was the DUFF amongst her friends. It totally messed with her self-confidence and led her to question her friends and anyone around her. I hated Wesley for making her feel so insecure. Meanwhile, Bianca’s home life is becoming rockier by the second and she needs an escape from it all. Enter ever-so-charming-and-annoying Wesley, it just so happens that Bianca gets paired up with Wesley on a school project (to her dismay) and they are forced to hang out together. Wesley quickly becomes the release that Bianca needed, the best part is that she admits she is using Wesley because she thinks he’s an annoying man-whore. Bianca holds all the cards in this frenemy-with-benefits arrangement and she totally owns it. I especially loved Bianca and Wesley’s constant back-and-forth banter, it was hilarious and amusing to no end. Wesley ends up surprising us all, he also has his own skeletons in the closet and is able to get Bianca to open up about the turmoil in her home life. He even comes to her defense when you least expect it! Of course horror strikes when Bianca starts to realize that she maybe-kinda-okay-totally has feelings for Wesley. But does Wesley feel the same way?

I think the main thing I took away from this story is that we all feel like the DUFF at some point in our lives, and that is okay. It is perfectly normal to feel insecure at times, but in the end, you should be totally proud to be you. There is only one “you” in the world and you should own it!

I recently saw the movie this book is based on and it almost felt like a completely different story. The root of the Bianca/Wesley relationship was there but it failed to display a lot of the intimate connections that they had made throughout the original storyline that I loved. If I would have to put the book into a movie genre I would consider it a “dramedy.” It has a lot of very deep emotional content happening, but at the same time Bianca’s colorful personality and her sarcasm kept the story light and added comedy to it. The movie it a total “rom-com” and does have the feel of those 90s movies (i.e. She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, etc.), with all of the emotional drama removed. I enjoyed the movie very much (it was hilarious!!), but it is definitely not the story I read. I did think Mae Whitman did a great job of portraying Bianca Piper and Robbie Amell was exactly how I pictured Wesley Rush. Their chemistry was great and believable. If you have read the book and not seen the movie, or seen the movie and not read the book, and you plan to… then just keep in mind that they are two different stories.

What did you guys think? Did any of you read the book and see the movie? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

 

Lety @ Gone with the Words

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