I grabbed The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger and added it to my shelf (thanks, NetGalley, you’re amazing as always! 😀 ) because I just couldn’t resist the temptation to find out what the fuss was all about. And because I like YA, obviously! This novel kept getting stellar reviews and everybody was raving about it, so, needless to say, my expectations were quite high. And maybe they shouldn’t have been. Just sayin’.
This book revolves around the concept of “D.U.F.F.” or “designated ugly fat friend” and it’s basically a book about self-esteem in teenagers, and only afterwards about love. Or sex. Or… whatever. Just don’t get me started. So, Bianca Piper is friends with two of the most gorgeous and popular girls in her high school, Casey and Jessica, and she doesn’t see anything wrong in it, even though she is different from them, she is more mature, more cynical, she doesn’t enjoy going to parties. You get the idea. She’s been friends with Casey since early childhood and with Jessica for about two years. They “get” one another, they have each other’s back and all is well in the world. However, one particular night, Bianca is told by Wesley, one of the hottest (if not THE hottest) guys in school that she’s a DUFF, and if she could probably, just maybe, hook Wesley up with one of her friends. Well, when Bianca finds out what DUFF really means, all hell kind of breaks loose and the story starts to unfold like a hurricane.
I don’t want to spoil anything about this novel, so I will keep this short and sweet. Have you seen the movie trailer, with Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman?
Yeah, well, you can forget that! I realized that the book is NOTHING like the movie, or vice versa, and that was awesome! The book is more hardcore, if you will, and Bianca and Wesley’s relationship (if you can call it that) is toxic, and real, and believable. However, I hated it. 😦 I don’t know, maybe I was expecting something like the movie, a cutesy, heartwarming story about a teenage girl trying to find her place in the world and get back her self-esteem by being herself, and nothing more. But the book blew my socks off! I liked Bianca, even though I did not agree to her choices (especially those concerning Wesley), but I liked Casey and Jessica a whole lot more. This may be the first YA book where I actually enjoyed reading about the secondary characters so much more than about the main ones. Wesley was a d**k, although I gotta give it to him for being honest all the time. He was like… “what you see is what you get”, so I digged that. But that doesn’t mean his behaviour should have been so romanticized. That was just wrong!
What I also felt interested about was Bianca’s relationship with her parents, and Wesley’s relationship with his parents. I feel that their connection was made mainly because they came from such families. And that’s cool, it didn’t feel forced. But it was not about the love, people! SO not about the love! 😦 I just… I don’t know… I was hoping for something more between them, something that would tug at my heartstrings and make me go into the book and just hug them. Alas, that was not the case. I’ll say it again, I liked Casey and Jessica a lot more than Bianca and Wesley. And I’m afraid I wasn’t supposed to feel that way. But what could I do? She had a self-destructive behaviour and he was a d**k! Never mind the redemption, that felt so superficial. Which brings us to the conclusion of this rant.
I liked this book. I liked reading it. I also liked a few things it touched upon, like the meaning of friendship, family, self-esteem, etc. But the ending felt so superficial. Like Kody Keplinger just lost her patience all of a sudden and wanted to have no loose ends and she just tied them all in a bunch at random. It’s my honest opinion, I swear! And, man, did I want to like Bianca and Wesley! But it didn’t happen. I’m sorry! I hope the movie will make it all better for me. 🙂