Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'The Duff' review

Note:  This review may contain spoilers for both the book and movie The Duff.





The book is told through seventeen-year-old Bianca Pipers' eyes. She's your typical teenage girl - cynical and insecure. But its a little too much for her when the jerk hottie of her school, Wesley Rush, nicknames her "the Duff."

There is tons of drama on the home front and she needs an escape and she finds one in Wesley. They begin an enemies-with-benefits relationship.

Eventually her feelings come to the surface and she realizes that maybe Wesley isn't as bad as he seems.  But how can Wesley feel the same about her when he has nicknamed her "Duffy"?

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Book Review:

D.U.F.F. = Designated Ugly Fat Friend


Ahhh this book gets me right in the feels!  This book brings me back to high school.  No I didn't have an enemies-with-benefits relationship, but I was like Bianca in the fact that I was insecure.  I think most people are, especially when they are teenagers.  And in trying to pretend that she has the perfect life at home even though it's all falling apart on her.  I never lied about my home life - it wasn't that bad- but sometimes I thought about it.  Someone always has a better life than you that you compare yourself to.  It's not right and you shouldn't but everyone does.  

The characters overall were developed enough that I actually cared what happened to them.  Not going to lie with her two best friends being almost the same person, I easily got them confused and even though Jessica plays an important part in the Bianca "before Duff" story, she wasn't really needed and was the only character I felt indifferent to.

Also I really love the banter and snark.  I found it to be more real than most dialog in books. 

“Spanish, huh?" he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. "Can you say anything interesting?"
"El tono de tu voz hace que queria estrangularme." I stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.
"That sounds sexy," he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of Spanish work he'd swept together. "What's it mean?"
"The sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself."
"Kinky.”


Some people are put off because Bianca uses sex as a distraction from her life but honestly we all use something to distract ourselves from life (food, books, drugs, exercising, alcohol, etc) and it's not as if she sleeps around - she only sleeps with Wesley Rush.

Another plus for this book is NO INSTA-LOVE!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how many books have that instant "I look at you, know nothing about you, but I am in love with you!" going on.

I give this book five cherry cokes (thrown in Wesley Rush's face??).  It shows real feelings and situations, the characters are lovable and developed, and the story flows at a great pace.




and now the movie...


 I was fangirl giddy about seeing this movie.  I just love when a book I adore gets turned into a movie.  

The movie is based loosely on the book. The best friends Casey and Jess are a little different than the book, Wesley has an on again/off again relationship with the school mean girl, Wesley and Bianca decide to come to an agreement to un-Duff Bianca and in turn she will help him pass science, they are neighbors and have a sorta history together, Bianca lives with her mom and her dad was the one that left, lots of social media references, Bianca gets bullied, Toby is more of a jerk, etc.  

If you go in expecting the same as the book you will be disappointed, but if you go in and think of this as a companion to the book or even a completely different entity, then you will love it.   

Bianca is subjected to a lot of bullying.  First, Wesley does it unintentionally when he designates her the D.U.F.F.  He doesn't mean to hurt her feelings - he truly thought what he was saying was ok but it really hurts Bianca and makes her start to question everything.

Then mean girl and Wesley's ex, Madison, notices that Wesley is giving more attention to Bianca (she doesn't know about the arrangement) and takes things to a new level.  She does everything from threatening her to stay away to posting a video to social media of Bianca embarrassingly confessing her love for Toby.  Because of the video, people in school start making fun of her and calling her names.  

In one scene, her newspaper teacher makes the comment the pen is mightier than the sword and Bianca answers with yes obviously because with the video and other bullying feels like an atomic bomb.  I think that is a great moment in the movie.  It shows the real feeling of bullying.  I'm not say this movie will end bullying but I think its a step in the right direction of helping to stop bullying.  

Overall I am in love with the movie but I do have a couple of little problems with it.  Even though Robbie Amell isn't the oldest actor to portray a teenager in this movie (Nick Eversman is two years older; Robbie and Mae are the same age), he doesn't look like a teenage - more like an adonis, a gift from Heaven, a MAN!  He is gorgeous and don't get me start on his body (Those damn Amell cousins have seriously amazing genes!!).  His acting was great and he was funny.  I would have liked to see a more teenaged looking actor. (Don't get me wrong Robbie Amell did an amazing job!)

My second issue is that I would have loved to see this movie set in college.  I think the movie could have been more like the book plus they could have included the sex without it being awkward (teen movie and causal sex = no no!).  Robbie Amell would have been a great college guy plus we could have seen more shirtless scenes but hey maybe that's just me.  

Even with those two little nitpicks I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and give it 4.5 flannel shirts.  I would recommend anyone who loves to laugh to watch it.




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