A couple months ago now I went to go see The Duff. It’s the kind of movie I grew up with as a kid and in high school, but it’s not something I’ve seen much of as late. I was interested so I decided to head out to find out what the The Duff was about.
Sure, I knew that it was a book. So many movies these days are adaptations of books or comics that it didn’t phase me. I’d even heard of the book in passing. Unfortunately, it came out while I was in college, which I like to refer to as my reading dark days. Aside from plowing through the entire Twilight series my freshman year and the odd class assigned book here and there, I didn’t read in college. Not until my senior year at least and by then all the hype surrounding The Duff had faded.
If you haven’t figured it out right now, I didn’t read The Duff before I walked into the movie. Since I left the movie enjoying the whole thing(liked, not loved) I figured that I would pick up The Duff that night for super cheap on kindle. Other than my perpetual struggles with reading kindle books, I resolved myself to reading this one.
Over the past month I’ve been picking up The Duff here and there. Reading a page when I couldn’t think of what else to do. A few more when I was stranded in an awkward situation and my phone was the only escape. My progress was abysmal. I was interested, but the voice got under my skin a bit and I didn’t want to hear Bianca groan even if her whining was amusing. I was stalled.
Then I went to work one day and in my rush to get to work on time, I forgot my book at home. My heart sank. How could I possibly forget the one thing I use to fill my lunch hour? I still don’t know, but I had no idea what I would do. Then I remembered the miracle of ebooks. They are always with me, even if I neglect them most of the time. So when lunch ran around, rather than twiddling my fingers I pulled out my tablet and read The Duff.
I was hooked. Over hte next couple of days I sidelined the physical book I was reading in favor of The Duff. When it was over I had way too many feelings. The story had taken industrial grade hooks and shoved it into my heart. Every time Wesley entered the scene my proper thought went out the window. I just needed to embrace everything Wesley brought to the scene. The fact that Bianca had gone from whiny and slightly grating, to whiny and a determined if occasionally bad choice making girl I was thrilled.
The Duff came to life for me. I loved the book. Sure it wasn’t my favorite. However it was exactly the feels inducing experience that I needed. The rush (pun intended) that I was longing for in the romance department. The Duff hit the spot for me in all the right ways.
The one thing that I realized as the story went on was that the book is completely different than the movie. In fact, if the characters didn’t share the same name and the same insult, I wouldn’t have recognized the two as being cut from the same cloth. So, what I wanted to talk about was the differences between the book and the movie.
If you haven’t both read The Duff by Kody Keplinger or watched The Duff directed by Ari Sandel, then you are opening yourself up to be potentially spoiled below. You’ve been warned.
Bianca Piper and Wesley Rush are not neighbors in the book.
Which meant that their relationship wasn’t a pre-established thing. They knew each other, yes, but it also meant their relationship in the book didn’t have any pleasant childhood memories to go along with it.
Jess and Casey are both blondes in the book.
This doesn’t seem like a big thing, especially considering the setting. That said, the movies switch to make Casey hispanic was a move I was okay with.
Bianca never swears off her friends in the book.
This was one of the biggest differences from the movie. In the movie Bianca doesn’t like being the Duff so she solves the problem by cutting off her friends. It didn’t make sense in the movie and it didn’t happen in the book.
Bianca never tries to change herself in the book.
Bianca’s self confidence certainly wavers in the book, but she never reaches a point where she feels like she needs to change herself. In fact, she prides herself for liking herself. It was one of the things I really loved about Bianca.
The characters aren’t nearly as dickish in the book.
In the movie people were out and out dicks. Toby Tucker ended up being a douche. Madison was the biggest pain. People seemed to buy into the concept of the Duff way more than they did in the book.
Her dad is actually around in the book.
In fact, her dad is a big part of the story. It’s her dad who was always there for her. It was her dad who had problems. It was because of her dad that she tried to escape and that she made some of her worst decisions. She loved him and it was a nice dynamic to see.
Toby isn’t a dream boat in the book.
Not in the slightest. Yeah, Bianca liked him, but he was seriously described as kinda nerdy and out of fashion. He was just a nice guy and he truly was a nice guy.
There’s no social media warfare in the book.
Nope. None of that ish. No one is out to make Bianca’s life a living hell. It’s about Bianca’s decisions, not what others try to do to her.
In fact, there’s no female antagonist in the book.
No Madison getting in the way. None of her bitchy friends doing her dirty work. The book isn’t a story about pitting girls against each other and how people feel. Even though The Duff is the title, the story doesn’t revolve solely around that. Heck, it only does in passing.
The story isn’t hinged on the timeline of a dance in the book.
Yeah, no. I’m glad it didn’t. Yes there was a dance, but it wasn’t a build up event. It was just another event and it didn’t play out remotely similar in the book. Bianca never even goes.
Bianca and Wesley’s relationship is a lot more intense in the book.
Way more. The movie entirely glossed over their relationship. Bianca and Wes were carnal first and bonding later. They used each other until they realized that it was more than just that. The exploration of that relationship was probably more mature than the movie wanted to get into, but it really was the focal point of the book. Not only that but it was one of the most interesting part. The movie subbed it out with the very g rated kiss.
The topic of slut shaming isn’t breached in the movie like it is in the book.
Bianca does a lot of questioning about what she’s doing using Wes. She sees how other people are treated, namely Vicki and how easy the tables could be turned. It’s interesting, but handled a bit clunky. Regardless it was an interesting topic to be breached and I was glad that it gave off the sense that people shouldn’t be putting people down for the choices they make.
Those were just some of the things that stuck out to me as differences between the book and the movie. What were somethings that you noticed as differences? Which do you prefer, the book or the movie?