“You either know one, you have one or you are one”
Having recently watched the film adaptation and with a tag line like that I had high expectations.
I recently read FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell and I was still in the phase of appreciating a novel from the perspective of a nerdish young woman and her constant internalization of every interaction she has when I started reading THE DUFF. Let’s just say this novel was perfectly timed.
THE DUFF (Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend) is about teenage Bianca and her role as the not exactly hottest-most-popular girl but also not the ugliest-duckling around. At an under-18 bar (apparently those exists) one of the hottest guys in her high school points out to Bianca that in her group of friends she is The Duff.
Confused and insulted by the comment Bianca drags her friends out of the bar upset by what just happened.
Most of the novel is spent by Bianca internalizing this comment about her being a Duff and Bianca trying to rationalize it. This is always a favourite for me, mostly because I do the same thing and it’s a guilty pleasure of mine to read about another young female internalizing the seemingly banal encounters we have with guys and drawing these arbitrary conclusions from them. Always fun to see someone put themselves through this mind warping struggle which I’m pretty sure every female subjects themselves to.
Besides the story about Bianca trying to wrap her head around this new label which apparently applies to her, she has family issues, boy hangups and friendship drama that every young female can relate to.
Combine this relatability with hot guys, self-esteem issues, a female coming of age story and some really funny dialogue and you have yourself THE DUFF.
Why I love it!
Having the female protagonist be of nerdish status pretty much always seals the deal for me, plus funny dialogue and relatability makes any novel with these qualities a great read. Yip, I’m easy to please. THE DUFF constantly reminded me that it’s okay to look the way you do and act as unconventionally as you want to, there is always going to be someone taller, skinnier, smarter more shinier than you, that’s just life.
Did I mention that I finished this novel in under 10 hours? Yip I loved it that much.
Note: Read if you’re looking for something to remind yourself that it’s okay to be you!
- “those girls must have IQ’s low enough to trip over”
- “was he right? Was the rest of the world just as lost as I was? Did everyone have their secrets and screw-ups?”