July 27, 2015

Book vs. Movie: The DUFF

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Romance
Release Date: September 10, 2010
Buy Links:

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Book Description:

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.

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Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 15, 2015
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Movie Description:

A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF - Designated Ugly Fat Friend - by her prettier, more popular counterparts.

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There's always a bit of anxiety whenever a book is adapted into a movie. Will the characters be the same ones you fell in love with, will the movie cut out your favorite scenes, will the actors deliver the lines the way the author intended (see Michael Gambon as Dumbledore asking Harry if he put his name in the Goblet of Fire for a failure on this one)? This, however, is not the case when it comes to the movie adaptation of Kody Keplinger's The DUFF. Not because the movie is an exact copy from the book, but the complete opposite in fact. The movie is a different story than the book, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

I admit that I actually broke my "Read the book before watching the movie" rule for this one. My sister and I went to see it when it was still in theatres, and loved it to the point where I just had to read the book. The movie was this great mix of Mean Girls, Easy A, and even a little bit of Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me" music video. In other words, it's a cute and light hearted high school comedy designed to make you laugh and entertain you for the length of the movie. Both my sister and I came out of the theatre with big smiles on our faces because it was so enjoyable, and I turned to her and said, "Let's watch it again!"

So it made sense that the next logical step was to read the book that inspired the great movie. Imagine my surprise when I started reading and found out that the book and movie were pretty much two separate plots while keeping the same character names. That doesn't mean that it wasn't enjoyable, though. While the movie version deals with Bianca learning that she is her friends' DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) in a light and comedic way, the book Bianca goes on a more darker journey to reach the end.

 Book Bianca is hurting from learning about the term "The DUFF", while also going through family drama at home. Instead of using Wesley to "unDUFF" herself like she does in the movie, her and Wesley's relationship is a secret friends-with-benefits affair that she uses as an escape mechanism. Book Bianca is also a lot more jaded and cynical than her movie counterpart due to all of the negativity going on in her personal life which adds to the more serious notes of the book.

Even though it was more serious, I still really liked the book. Since the stories are so different though, it's hard to say if I like one over the other. Both were enjoyable in their own ways, and I loved both versions of Bianca and rooted for her throughout her journey. Both book and movie would get five out of five hearts from me, and I would recommend them to anyone who likes YA fiction or teen comedies.

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Author Bio:

I'm a 19-year-old college student and young adult author. My first book, THE DUFF, debuted on September 7, 2010. I write books for teenagers and strive to be honest and true-to-life.


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