So, I had made a "deal" with myself this year that I would be reading more books before I saw their movies. Especially when they are being released this year. Ok, it has to do with my desire to date my husband a bit more and take advantage of the $5 promotion at our movie theater.
So, I researched a few of them and noted them in my requests from the library. So, DUFF by Kody Keplinger came across the lists I looked at. Hmm, YA book. And it will have Mae Whitman in it? Ok, sign me up!
Yep, she is one of my fave young actresses - her role on Parenthood clinched it! So I was kind of excited to read the book and then see the movie!
So the hold came up at the library and I grabbed it! And it has sat on my dresser for a few days. Now, I picked it up yesterday in anticipation for the blizzard that has descended upon Chicago. And I am glad I did.
No, it was not the best book out there, but it has it's merits. I wish I could say that I do not identify with the concept of a DUFF and that I myself would never, ever be considered a DUFF. That would be a lie of large proportions! I always have been that girl. And now that I am in my 40's, I am good with it for sure! (DUFF- deignated ugly fat friend)
I always answer the question of is it predictable? And of course it is, because it wants to strive for the happily ever after that we usually always want. And yes, it is a bit like an after-school special. (For those that do not know those, they were tv shows that I would schedule my activities around because back then I could not tape them or see them later.) It has a definite underlying cause that they want to be in your mind - stop with the labels!!
And for that, I applaud them. It will not stop them, but perhaps will allow some to see others in different ways. It is not always what you see on the outside that defines a person's insides!!! Yes, I have soap boxes and hence my love of "All About That Bass" and it's message.
Now, the ability for Bianca's friends to not really talk to her for a few days when they are used to doing it everyday bothered me. I mean, how can you just not keep hounding them until they talked to you? You are suppose to be in high school and that is what high school girls do - hound you until you talk. (Yes I was one but now I have a high school son who gets hounded until he talks.)
And the family disfunction was overwhelmingly obvious. Both in Bianca's family and in Wesley's. But it was believable. Sad, but believable. Everyone has issues in their families and it is up to the individual to handle them as they see fit. And in here, they needed an outside push to do so which is totally normal. And a side note of that is my usual critique of YA books - parental involvement. Yes, I get mad when parents are not mentioned in the book or they abandon the kids. And yes that irritates me here, but I felt that this story handled it appropriately. It wasn't her dad that made me upset, it was the mom coming back to do what - be a friend more than a role model? Yuck - that is just frustrating. Any parent who thinks it is better to be a friend more than a parent needs to think again! (In my opinion)
But the other thing that most of the time, we as adults want to turn a blind eye to is the sex involved in teen's lives. Whereas we know it can occur, I think most of us take that "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. And here it is addressed right out in the open and is a big part of the story. I felt that it was probably right on track and was handled fine. Whereas I hope that my kids will be able to talk to me about things, I totally am aware that it will happen and I need to be sure they are being as safe as possible. A frightening topic to have to venture towards but it is the journey of being a parent!
Ok, so enough of my thoughts. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars as Goodreads does not allow 3/4 stars. I encourage you to read this especially if you are going to see the movie. I somehow think that will a bit different from the book.
And something I usually do not ask (but again, changing my blog style), what do you think about the "DUFF" concept? Is it something you think is out there or is it all made up for the sake of a book?