Friday, 24 October 2014

Kody Keplinger : THE DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

Warning! This book will get under the skin of every reader and book reviewer... even the harsh ones.

THE DUFF ( Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is a contemporary young adult novel written by Kody Keplinger. Kody was only 19 years old when this book was published in 2010. And since then she has written three other books. That's a very impressive achievement for someone her age. Especially, since all of her novels have been a big hit with the targeted audience.

I have been totally clueless until I was browsing through #Istagram couple months ago and stubbled upon the pics from the recently shot film adaptation of THE DUFF. And when I found out that it's a well selling YA novel, I had to have it and discover what this whole phenomena is all about.

And the result? It took me only 19 hours to read this book, as I fell under its spell immediately and weren't able to put it down.

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper knows she's not the hottest girl at school, but she is ok with it. She has her amazing friends Casey and Jessica and together they are going through their high school experience. They have a wonderful friendship and share a bond filled with trust. Bianca is slightly sarcastic girl who tries to keep everything real and doesn't wear pink glasses to pretend that maybe one day she will become Prom's Queen. But she likes herself and her life. She is satisfied. That changes when the school man-whore and jerk, Wesley f***ing Rush calls her a DUFF - Designated Ugly Fat Friend. The word seems to become centre of her life. It starts to bother her, and with it comes a series of unfortunate events which cause Bianca to enter a very unusual friendship with Mr I-shag-everything-with-a-vagina himself. What happens when Bianca's coping mechanism starts to intervene with her life?

Let's talk about the edition first. Modern design with bright colours. Yellow bold writing and beautiful image on the front. Paperback. 341 pages long. Easy to take everywhere with you. And trust me, you won't be able to leave it at home.

This book just gets to you from the first page. Modern. Smartly written. Hilarious. Packed with energetic witty dialogues and story-telling. It reminds you of every teenage romantic comedy out there, but it is also unique in its own way. You catch yourself laughing out loud and the sarcastic comments and remarks of Bianca's and Wesley's and their interaction has you in stitches. This story charmed its way into my heart and soul. I couldn't put it down. I tried to take a break from it, but I kept picking it back up and kept on reading. "Only one more chapter..." I kept on saying. 19 hours!! It took me only 19 hours to read this book. I loved it so so much.

It was the perfect read for cold autumn night. Wrapped in the blanket, a mug of hot tea by my side, I read on. The story was brilliant, funny and very entertaining. It's packed with modern references. The writing is smart, ageless and so so easy to read. It's written exactly how you'd desire. It's written how you would think. Enjoyable and intelligent.

Bianca is one very relate female character. She is sarcastic. Realistic. A say how it is. But she is also scared. Scared for her family. Worried for her friends. And she doesn't like being pushed to share. She has her own way of coping with things. Wesley is an arrogant playboy, who is the most popular guy in school every girl wants to tame. He sleeps with them, but he doesn't date them. 'Wesley rush doesn't chase girls. They chase him.' He is a big jerk on the outside, but inside he has a big lonely heart. Casey is a best friend, every girl dreams of having. She is loyal, caring, funny and always there for you when you need her. Jessica is the girl who seems to have all the light in the world in her. Yes, she might have her pink shades on,  but she cares and with her you know that she does everything in her power to make you smile. All the characters are just wonderful. You want them to be your friends. You want to be in the story with them.

I loved the story. I have truly enjoyed Kody's taking on how name calling can affect someone's life. Being called whore, duff, slut, geek, jerk.. every single on these names can cause a hurtful damage to a person. You are hurting people and causing uncontrollable pain by using these words. There is no reason why one person should be beneath you. We all are different. We all look different. We all like different stuff. But we are human beings and are unique in our on way. We are all special. And we all have a reason to be here. We all have the right to live our lives the way we want to. Without being judged or labelled. And Kody's explains every angle of how words can affect people's life, in her story with humour and seriousness in the same time.

All in all, I have fell for this book from the start. I enjoyed every single page, every single chapter. I just couldn't put it down. I was glued to it. I am a big fan of teenage romantic comedies and this book reminded just of them. And I welcomed it. I love reading love stories and this one was pretty good. 

Thank you Kody Keplinger for writing such a wonderful piece which restored my faith in love, friendship and humanity. I cannot wait to read SHUT OUT & A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE. They have been delivered today :)

Quotes from the book which made me stop and laugh out loud: 

“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."

“Your sense of humor needs some work, then," Wesley suggested. "Most girls find my jokes charming."
"Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over.”

“You can lie to yourself if you want, but reality is going to catch up with you. I’ll be waiting when it does… whether you like it or not.” 

“Just when I think you might have a soul, you say shit like that.” 

“I was the Duff. And that was a good thing. Because anyone who didn't feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes. Why had it taken me so long to figure that out? Why had I been stressing over that dumb word for so long when it was so simple? I should be proud to be the Duff. Proud to have great friends who, in their minds, were my Duffs.” 

“For a girl with such a fat ass, I felt pretty invisible.” 

“He sleeps with everything that moves, and his brain is located in his pants - which means it's microscopic.”

“I’d skipped the crush kiddie pool and jumped right into the deep, shark-infested ocean of emotions. And, if you’ll forgive the dramatic metaphor, I was a lousy swimmer.”

“What you are is an inteligent, sassy, sarcastic, cynical, neurotic, loyal, compassionate girl. That's what you are, OK? You're not a slut or a whore or anything remotely similar. Just because you have some secrets and some screwups...You're just the rest of us.” 

“Love is rare and hard to find and takes years upon years to develop. Teenagers don't fall in love.”

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