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Books & Chocolate

I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.

 

Oh, and I love chocolate.

The Duff

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger

The Duff was a quick and entertaining read. I loved the concept of this book from the moment I first read the description. We all know The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) and some of us have even related to being The Duff at some point in time. I liked that the book got to that point -- that somewhere, somehow, we have all felt like The Duff for one reason or another. I also like the message of the book that we should not only accept it but embrace it as well.

 

I loved the relationship between Bianca and her friends. I love how she never questioned why they hung around her. She knew they were genuinely her friends and not using her as their Duff. On the flipside, she didn't understand why they got upset with her when she blew them off, and she rationalized why she couldn't tell them about her issues (but she could tell the guy she hated...) When something like this popped up I'd remind myself these were teenagers, and teenagers didn't always make mature decisions. 

 

I liked Wesley in this book. While he did sleep is way through most of the girls in his high school, it seemed he was never underhanded about it. This doesn't mean I approve of this kind of behavior, but I certainly can't condemn it either. The girls he slept with were never led to believe he was going to give them anything more.

 

The primary downfall was I didn't like Bianca much. She was so negative, but more than that, she was constantly thinking down on others. This is pointed out by several of her friends, and basically her reaction is 'yeah, well, that's me'. I love the message at the end that she doesn't want to change who she is for anyone - I totally promote that message as well. However, there's a difference between change and growth. Negativity does not make a person unique or special. It makes them miss out on a lot of great things about life. Not being willing to be more positive is just a way of refusing to admit she only wants to see the world through her own lens.

 

There is a moment in the end where Bianca realizes that calling someone a whore or other name is the same as them calling her The Duff. It's a great moment where she determines labels are not good (she keeps the negativity though). My issue with this part is that it seems the author was so focused on trying to infuse a feminist moment that she missed an opportunity to point out that this notion applies to men as well. Bianca constantly called Wesley a man-whore. While that name stopped after her realization, he was never included in her ah-ha moment. I think it was more of the fact that the name wasn't needed by that point in the story so it just sort of got dropped. 

 

I have this obsession with watching the movie version of every book I read. In this case, the movie is very different than the book. Some names are the same and of course there's the label of The Duff, but that's about it. I liked and disliked parts of both in equal measure.