There's one thing I absolutely love: books being turned into movies. It means that I can experience a story twice - once on paper and once on screen. So when I heard that The DUFF was being made into a movie, I wanted to read the book. It's a YA contemporary classic and I figured that if it is a movie, the story has to be good.
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.
Cliché after cliché after cliché
Turns out that not only good books are being made into movies, but just popular uncreative books become movies too. The premise of The DUFF is great. Reading the Goodreads summary, there seems to be a lot of potential for feminism kick-assing. I wanted Bianca to take control of her nickname, to show people what's she worth. But as the last paragraph of that summary already shows, she falls in love. With a guy who called her ugly and fat. Who ALWAYS calls her Duffie. Who is an asshole to every single girl.
I get it. I was a teen too and yes, we've all been through our bad boy phase. And I don't mind reading about it, but what I do hate is authors that have the "omg he's such a bad boy! Oh no wait he's a good guy now because he just loves me soooo much". This can happen in life I guess, but it doesn't happen to every single girl. It won't happen to the majority of girls dating bad boys. Authors have no moral obligation to teach readers anything, but I'm getting sick and tired of reading this cliché romantic story. And by the way, Bianca and Wesley? They're a sinking ship.
What I did like about this book is that it's a breeze to read. The writing is easy, flows and if you just ignore the clichés, is quite enjoyable actually. Kody Keplinger knows how teenagers read and makes sure that there is not a single point in the book where you'll be bored. The pacing is excellent and you'll be completely in this fiction world.
So this is a short review, because there really isn't much to discuss about this book. It is exactly what you think it will be - which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you're looking for. For me, it fell flat and was completely ruined by all the clichés. I think Kody Keplinger has a good writing voice and I'm excited to read more of her books to see if they get more original as she gets more experienced as a writer. But this book has to be a two out of five.