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review 2017-06-08 09:49
Wie ein Teeniefilm
The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) - Kody Keplinger

Im Mai 2017 erhielt ich über die Motto-Challenge eine Leseaufgabe, die für mich eine echte Herausforderung darstellte: ich sollte Liebesgeschichten lesen. Da ich Chic-Lit nicht mag, war ich erst mal ratlos. Enthielt mein Bücherregal überhaupt Bücher, die ich mir anrechnen durfte? Eine Recherche ergab, dass die Auswahl unerwartet groß ist, zumindest, wenn wir Liebesgeschichten nicht mit Liebesromanen gleichsetzen. „The DUFF“ von Kody Keplinger lag ziemlich genau ein Jahr auf meinem SuB. Die Challenge hat unter anderem den SuB-Abbau zum Ziel, also entschied ich, dass dieser Young Adult – Roman ein guter Einstieg in das neue Monatsmotto wäre.

 

DUFF. Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Diese unverschämte Beleidigung ließ Bianca Piper durchdrehen. Ihr war bewusst, dass sie ihren besten Freundinnen bezüglich ihres Aussehens nicht das Wasser reichen kann. Es war in Ordnung für sie, die Clevere zu sein, die gute Noten bekommt und auf ein unerschöpfliches Repertoire sarkastischer Bemerkungen zurückgreifen kann. Doch dass ausgerechnet Wesley Rush, der notorische Weiberheld der Schule, behauptete, sie sei in ihrer Clique das Mädchen, das die anderen besser aussehen lasse, weil sie selbst als dickes, hässliches Entlein durchginge, schlug dem Fass den Boden aus. Ihre Synapsen hatten einen Kurzschluss. Sie muss vorübergehend unzurechnungsfähig gewesen sein, denn sonst hätte sie sich niemals auf diese seltsame „Feindschaft mit Zusatzleistungen“ mit Wesley eingelassen. Nun ist es zu spät für Vernunft. Plötzlich sind Gefühle im Spiel, die weder Bianca noch Wesley erwarteten. Kann aus tiefer Abneigung tatsächlich Liebe werden?

 

Überraschung, Überraschung – ich bin zu alt für dieses Buch. „The DUFF“ ist das literarische Äquivalent eines Teeniefilms aus den 90er oder 2000er Jahren. Als dieses Genre populär war, liebte ich diese Filme. Irgendwann ebbte der Hype um cineastische Teenager-Romanzen ab und ich wuchs aus den stereotypen Geschichten heraus. „The DUFF“ katapultierte mich in die Welt des High-School-Lebens amerikanischer Jugendlicher zurück, in diesen verbissenen Krieg um Popularität. Ein Krieg, den Bianca Piper bewusst zu boykottieren glaubte, bis ihr Wesley Rush mit der Sensibilität einer Müllpresse vor Augen führt, dass sie sich dem Kampf um Anerkennung gar nicht entziehen kann. „DUFF“ ist eine außerordentlich widerwärtige Beleidigung, weil sie meiner Meinung nach eine Menge Wahrheit enthält. Junge Frauen vergleichen sich bewiesenermaßen mehr als alle anderen Bevölkerungsgruppen. Während der Teenagerzeit ist der gesellschaftliche Druck, wie alle anderen auszusehen und ein willkürlich formuliertes Ideal zu erfüllen, besonders groß. Mädels, ihr wisst, wovon ich spreche – ihr habt es selbst erlebt. Die Unsicherheit, die Selbstzweifel, die Fragen, warum die Oberweite nicht größer, die Hüften nicht schmaler und die Oberschenkel nicht straffer sein können. Die Angst, ungenügend zu sein, während man nervös auf die Freundinnen schielt, ist ein stetiger Begleiter. Bianca jedoch wähnte sich erhaben. Sie glaubte, über dem Konkurrenzgerangel junger Mädchen zu stehen. Sie hielt sich für klüger, weniger naiv. Erst Wesleys Beleidigung zeigt ihr, dass sie genauso oberflächlich und von der Meinung anderer beeinflussbar ist, wie die Mädchen, die sie bisher immer belächelte. Ich hatte Schwierigkeiten mit Bianca, weil ich sie arrogant und heuchlerisch fand. Sie ist unheimlich stolz darauf, intelligent genug zu sein, um sich mit einer ständigen Aura aus Sarkasmus und Zynismus umgeben zu können, aber ich empfand sie die meiste Zeit als verletzend und anstrengend. Es dauert ewig, bis sie begreift, dass sie keineswegs besser ist als ihre Mitschüler_innen und ihre spätere Einsicht, dass sich jeder junge Mensch mit einem Label identifiziert, erschien mir nicht so weltbewegend, dass es das Warten wert gewesen wäre. Für mich entwickelt sich „The DUFF“ zu langsam, weil die Geschichte äußerst vorhersehbar ist. Ich war ungeduldig und wollte Bianca schütteln, damit sie endlich die Augen öffnet und erkennt, was für mich vollkommen offensichtlich war – einschließlich ihrer Gefühle für Wesley. Ihre Beziehung erfüllt zahllose Klischees, es gefiel mir allerdings, dass Kody Keplinger an ihrem Beispiel einen ehrlichen Blick auf das Liebes- und Sexualleben von Teenagern wirft. Sie idealisiert und beschönigt nichts. Die Zeiten, in denen Jugendliche von Bienchen und Blümchen keinen blassen Schimmer hatten, sind lange vorbei. Jugendliche haben Sex und verhalten sich dabei nicht immer verantwortungsbewusst. Das ist Fakt, es gibt keinen Grund, diesen zu vertuschen. Ich bin froh, dass Keplinger die Realität darstellt, statt überholte Euphemismen.

 

„The DUFF“ ist wieder einmal eine nette Lektüre für Zwischendurch, die mir wohl weit mehr gebracht hätte, hätte ich sie als Teenager gelesen. Ich bin nun mal keine 17 mehr und habe meine jugendlichen Selbstzweifel Großteils überwunden. Mit 27 muss mir niemand mehr vorbeten, dass jeder Mensch hin und wieder mit dem eigenen Aussehen hadert. Ich weiß, dass Schubladendenken niemandem gerecht wird und sich eine Persönlichkeit nicht durch ein Label wie DUFF erfassen lässt. Daher ist dieser Roman für mich mittlerweile zu offensichtlich; er enthält Wahrheiten, die ich mir bereits selbst erarbeitete. Nichtsdestotrotz ist das Buch nicht schlecht und ich finde es beeindruckend, dass Kody Keplinger es schrieb, als sie selbst erst 17 Jahre alt war. Ich bereue die Lektüre nicht und war dankbar, dass ich währenddessen kaum nachdenken musste.
Meiner Meinung nach ist „The DUFF“ ein klassischer Fall von „Kann man, muss man aber nicht“, wenn man die wilden Teenagerjahre bereits hinter sich hat. Habt ihr jüngere Geschwister im richtigen Alter? Cousinen oder Cousins? Dann solltet ihr vielleicht in Betracht ziehen, ihnen eine Ausgabe des Buches zu schenken, statt es selbst zu lesen. Sie haben vermutlich mehr davon.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/kody-keplinger-the-duff
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review 2017-03-07 21:37
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. 

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review 2017-01-12 21:43
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger

this book had a lot of similar things in it that reminds me of my life 100% and I am the DUFF all around no matter who my friends are!!!

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review 2016-10-02 14:52
Review for The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger
This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

Bianca Piper is smart, snarky, and about as cynical as a 17 year old girl can be. She will be the absolute last person to fall for Wesley Rush’s womanizing charms. He’s a pig who nicknames her Duffy and she hates him. But when home life gets complicated and she needs an escape, kissing Wesley (and later doing much more) doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. The boy may be a jackass, but he is a talented jackass. The more time she spends with him, the more she notices that his life isn’t exactly perfect and he happens to be a damn good listener. She can’t possibly be falling for the guy she’s hated for so long, right?

I have been dying to read this since the moment I step out of the movie theater. The film was just my level of awesome. I’m a sucker for those high school rom-coms about finding yourself, so it’s no surprise I loved the film. I deliberately didn’t read this before seeing the movie. I’ve found that reading the books first can severely impair my ability to enjoy their film counterparts. Once I’ve read it, I want the film to be exactly like the book, word for word. I’m one of those people that would be deliriously happy if the film adaptation of all books were 4 hour long experiences identical to the books. I think most bookworms feel that way, but I can’t let go of the details. There are some things I can understand why it gets changed, but a lot of times there seems to be no logical reason behind changes and those anger me. It was harder to avoid this book before the movie than I thought it would be. The movie tie in edition of the novel is everywhere. It’s available in bookstores, WalMart, Target, even the tiny grocery story book section! It stalked me, but I resisted the urge to crack it open. I highly recommend anyone who has not read the book already to wait until after the film to read it. Though I adore the film, the changed a great deal of things and, if you are anything like me, it will make you angry if you read the book first. But this is supposed to be a book review, right? So let’s get back to the book!

I loved Bianca immediately. She reminded me a great deal of Katarina Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You and that is a high compliment because Kat was my role model throughout my entire high school career. She’s intelligent and sarcastic and opinionated. She has no qualms about sharing those opinions with everyone around her and she doesn’t care about what they think of her. I went in thinking she’d be somewhat insecure, but she really isn’t. I’d say she has more self-esteem than the average teenage girl. She truly doesn’t give a fuck about how other’s see her. She knows she isn’t very pretty, but she has made peace with that fact and she plays to her strengths. I do think she was a bit harsh sometimes, but that also what I loved. She wasn’t afraid to say exactly what she was thinking, no sugar coating required. She has no qualms about throwing a drink all over Wesley when he tells her she is the DUFF and she has no problem consistently telling him what she thinks of him (hint: it’s not usually pretty).

Wesley….what do I say about Wesley? The start of the story portrays him as a cocky jackass, but since I was already half in love with him because of the slightly altered film version of him, I couldn’t help but be amused by his shenanigans. He is a dick, but I think he’s a loveable dick and he makes no promises. He may be a man-whore, but he’s completely honest about that fact. He makes no promises for more than meaningless sex and he doesn’t string unsuspecting girls along. But once you start really seeing him, how he tries to comfort Bianca (and that scene where he defends her?)…well, let’s just say I swooned. I was a Wesley fan from page one. Even when he was being a jackass, I loved him. I couldn’t help it.

Jessica and Casey were both very interesting. They are loyal friends, sticking by Bianca when she needs it and getting angry with her when she starts avoiding them. They are probably the only people on the planet whose opinions Bianca actually cares about. They aren’t perfect. Casey is a little pushy and Jess is a little ditzy, but they are both very lovable and it’s easy to see why Bianca has stuck with them.

What I really loved about this was how realistic it felt. There was no censoring to dumb things down to a “high school” level. Bianca swears and has sex and is a normal teenager. This doesn’t try to hide that side of her. I also liked that there weren’t a bunch of cliches all over the place. Maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention to the other students in my high school or maybe I just went to an abnormal school, but I don’t remember a set of “popular” people from my high school or the jocks and the geeks and whatnot. I liked this Bianca’s main goal in life wasn’t to climb a social ladder. She was just biding her time until high school was over and she could get on with her life. Plus, I loved how Keplinger played the whole love triangle aspect. Toby isn’t a bad guy. Toby is actually the perfect guy. Toby is the one Bianca wants, but sometimes what we want and what we need aren’t the same thing.

I don’t know what took me so long to find this novel and read it. Though I’m very happy that I waited until after the film to read it, I’m also sad that I went years without this awesomeness in my life. This novel is perfect. There is not a single thing about it I would change. It smart and funny and heartfelt. It has the perfect level of teen angst. And it has that I hate you until I love you thing going on that we all secretly crave. Seriously, it’s perfect.

****Thank you to Hodder Children’s Books for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****
 
 

 

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review 2016-01-25 15:43
Book Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger

I am so glad I gave this book a shot! It's been on my "maybe" list ever since I heard of it, my hesitation steaming from a rumored jerk of a love interest and the whole enemies with benefits plot-line. But, the movie with Robbie Amell came out and it just looked so entertaining that I had to give the book a chance.

And honestly, it's just been so much fun

Let's start by saying that the book explores a lot of deep themes. First of all, it explores slut shaming. It explores the idea of beauty. It explores facades. It explores friendships and family. And all the underlying messages are so positive it's heartening.

And it's pretty much all done through our main character, BiancaA sassy, sarcastic, kind of judgmental girl whom I honestly loved. She's our DUFF - Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Or is she? She's definitely a fun character to explore, and while I didn't agree with all she did (especially toward the end with Toby...) I always loved her. 

Her love interest and the coined douche above is Wesley. Now, I'm going to apologize in advance for the upcoming section - because I absolutely adored Wesley to pieces. I'm sorry, but anyone who finds this guy to be a jerk is wrong. He acted like a douche, sure. But he was not actually a douche.

In fact, out of all the characters in the book, he never once...

 

TO READ MORE, CLICK THE TITLE! 

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