Erica's Reviews > The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
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** spoiler alert ** The audiobook - not so great, actually. The reader reads like she's reading. That may sound dumb - and it is - but instead of telling a story, bringing characters to life, she's reading a book out loud. She sounds indifferent and bland, which, come to think of it, is appropriate to the characters so maybe she was a great find, as far as readers go.

So. Bianca. Bianca, dear, let's have a discussion, shall we? I have some questions I want to ask you. For instance, how is it you have any friends? For someone as self-involved and unable to listen to anyone else at all...ever...I'm surprised other humans want to hang around you. Also, aside from your assumption that Wesley's a bad guy because he flirts and there are rumors he sleeps around, what has Wesley actually done wrong? Is he a twit, a jerk, an arrogant annoyance? Sure. But what really makes him so awful? Maybe he has and maybe he hasn't had sex with every female in the school but why do you get to judge him? You're not squeaky clean either, you went off and had a seedy affair with a guy who had a girlfriend so I'm not sure how you get to throw stones. Yes, Wesley said something hurtful to you, but you hated him already and his bitchy comment just fueled your fire and you kept using it to fuel your fire. Over and over and over and over and over. I'm surprised you didn't go up like Joan of Arc. But where was that fire from in the first place? You kinda made it up. Just like you and your BFF, someone who has been your friend since kindergarten but not someone you feel you can talk to (indicating you don't actually trust her as your friend, though she seems to be going out of her way to make sure you know you're the closest of friends), decided that Jessica was fragile and needed protecting and that's why you couldn't tell her about the relationship you had with her brother. Nice of you to lie to your best pals, to expect so much from but to give so little to them.
Bianca, you're something of a judgmental bitch who is really caught up in her own little world and cannot be bothered to pay attention or feel compassion or show a little decency ever at all. Maybe it's because you don't have real feelings? Maybe that was passed down to you by your flighty mother. Remember her? You were mad at her, but not really, and then you had a chance to confront her and were all like, "Meh" and now the two of you are fine and she's buying you cutesy jewelry and hanging out at your house waiting to meet your boyfriends! Peachy! If these traits in you would have changed, had you been able to grow past the strange little box you'd constructed for yourself, had you become a flawed-but-loveable-and-growing teen, I'd have been able to cheer you on. But you didn't have to, did you? Everyone enabled you so that the environment could change and you wouldn't have to. Your dad had a couple of weeks of down-and-out, culminating in you getting smacked and called a whore and that was enough to put him right back into AA and become your dorky but loving father again. You didn't have to stand up to him. You didn't have to make a decision to stay or go to tell your mom or find his sponsor. No. He took care of it for you. Your cute boy, the one you'd pined for for years and finally got, through who knows what abilities, let you off the hook and you didn't have to even think about your actions, your feelings, your reasons to not be with him. He just let you go, nice and tidy. And now you can be with the guy you accidentally fell in love with while hating and having casual I-don't-want-to-feel-my-life addiction sex with him, despite teenagers not being able to feel love, and you're back in with your best friends who have forgiven your assholeyness in the blink of an eye. And this is why I don't like you, I don't like your story, and I won't recommend you to anyone I know...unless it's to torture someone. Or to show what unexplained low self-esteem wrapped in a blanket of self-involvement looks like.

Note to author: While I know you were young when you wrote this and might have been trying a little too hard to convince us we were in the mind of a genuine teenager, remember to be consistent. It's hard to follow a character who exclaims, "oh, mother," blah blah blah to her parent and then suddenly remembers, in the middle of a up-til-then normal conversation, that she is a teenager and is supposed to be swearing so switches from banter to fuckfuckfuckityfuckdamnhellshitfuck and then back to regular banter. Watch the lingo - sprinkle words in like you'd hear in a real conversation instead of saving expressions to dump out all at once every few paragraphs, ya know? Perhaps you know plenty of people who exclaim grandly, seemingly pulling their speech from a B&W '50's movie, and then suddenly change course to swear like a gangsta before going back to using regular words to form regular conversation. However, it's really hard to connect to a main character who does that.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Kelly (and the Book Boar) Ummmm, I think you might have read this one wrong ; )

I surprised myself by loving this book, but I loved your review just as much. Confusing . . . .


Erica I was so hoping you were reading it wrong, too, as I watched your gifs being statussed. (You know, since status is now a verb) And now I see it got four stars and that only reminds me of how much I hated this book and how rageful it left me and I think to myself, "What a wonderful world"
Because we can disagree about the same book and still be friends.

Also, I am one of seventeen humans on the planet who did not understand how to read this piece of literature. We're either going to be the seventeen patient zeroes for the zombie apocalypse OR we will be the seventeen survivors of world calamity since you know there has to be something significant about us if we were the only ones who didn't like this book.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Erica wrote: "We're either going to be the seventeen patient zeroes for the zombie apocalypse OR we will be the seventeen survivors of world calamity since you know there has to be something significant about us if we were the only ones who didn't like this book...."

I'm putting my money on the survivor category . . . but I hold out hope for myself as well since I tend to love what everyone else hates and vice versa.

And statussed is totally a word. CHANGE APPROVED!


message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Erica - I can't find the thread where you suggested I read this (I don't know if it's on one of Anne's reviews, or where), so I thought I'd comment here. (You recommended I read it because you thought it was so bad and everyone else seemed to like it.)

I totally follow your train of thought, and get why you hated it. But, I have to say, I didn't. (Hate it.)

While I didn't like the teens jumping into bed with each other all the time for no reason except to distract from their lives, I thought it was a well-written and engaging story. And I thought that (view spoiler)

Just my $.02.


Erica Jim wrote: "Erica - I can't find the thread where you suggested I read this (I don't know if it's on one of Anne's reviews, or where), so I thought I'd comment here. (You recommended I read it because you thought it was so bad and everyone else seemed to like it.)

I totally follow your train of thought, and get why you hated it. But, I have to say, I didn't. (Hate it.) "


I...we didn't have a comment-discussion on Anne's thread?
I have no idea where I would have told you to read this, then.

But now I'm sad that I did because I remain ALONE.

Forever alone.
ALL BY MY SELLLLLF...don't wanna be ALL BY MYYYYSEEEEELFFFF


message 6: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim I think it was on one of Anne's reviews, but just not this book.

And now that song's going to be stuck in my head... :)


Erica GOOD!
You deserve it for leaving me here alone and lonely.

I'm sure someone will say something on the review in question at some point and we'll be notified and then we'll both be all, "Oh! HERE it is." Then life will be wonderful, etc. For now, it will just have to be a mystery.


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