Thursday, June 18, 2015

Books: The Duff (Spoiler alert! Read at own discretion)


Author: Kody Keplinger
Language: English
Page count: 341
Publication date: 2010
Original title: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
My rating:

"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."

Okay, to start off, the book was nothing at all like the movie! I guess the movie director(s) must have thought that the storyline of the movie would sell more, hence the complete derailment from the story, but I'm sure people wouldn't have minded watching a movie adaptation more true to the book. Having said all of that, I have to admit that I fell off the wagon just a teeny tiny bit when I read the author's biography and found out that she's nineteen, and that she wrote and published the book when she was just seventeen. I guess one could say that I made the mistake of judging the writing from then on, referring the prose back to the fact that she was just seventeen at the time of writing the story. Once I forgot all about her age, I managed to get back into the story and ended up enjoying it.

I'm just wondering why on earth the team who made the book into a movie decided to make Toby Tucker (Bianca's first love interest) a complete ass when, in fact, he was this sweet and ditsy personality in the book. While reading the book, I was expecting the same thing to happen, for Toby to suddenly admit that the only reason he'd been hanging out with Bianca was because he wanted to get with one of her hotter and more attractive friends, like he'd done in the movie. Like, Who even says stuff like that to someone?????? But, he never did. In fact, he did the complete opposite. He made a smaller, less shocking confession -- he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Nina. Of course Bianca completely understood that, as she hadn't been completely honest with herself, or him, about her feelings from the start anyway. She was in love with Wesley Rush, the school's "man-slut", or swinger if you like.

Bianca Piper is way up to her knees in her own family issues to really think about the consequences of throwing herself at Rush and soon after finds herself in much deeper sh** -- the possibility of losing her friends over a terrible secret she's keeping from them, a secret that has caused her to start avoiding them.

I quite liked the way things turned out, although it didn't have to take as long to get to the conclusion. I was kind of irritated about Bianca playing really hard to get when she knew exactly where she stood with Rush, and vice versa. At least things turned out pretty okay. I ended up rating this book with a 3.5 stars because, although I felt at some point like I had fallen off the wagon, it didn't take too much time to get back to the story and for things to become really interesting towards the end. Would I recommend it? Yes, to people who like to read about high school drama etc. I'm not really one with any kind of preference when it comes to reading books. I'll read any book if it's grabbed me from either its synopsis or the first page.