Naturally, the title of this book is certainly a little intriguing. My first thought was ‘what the heck is a DUFF’?
The book was suggested to me on kindle store after I read a title from the same genre. (I went through a stage of reading only teenage fiction last year).
So I read it. And I finished it in a day and a half.
And then I heard that it was being made into a film. I inwardly groaned at the news, but then perked up when I heard that the illustrious Robbie Amell would be portraying Hamilton High’s very own Wesley Rush, the male lead. Mae Whitman would be playing Bianca, the female lead, with Skyler Samuels and Bianca Santos as her gal pal’s Jess and Casey. And introducing Madison Morgon, a stuck up mean girl portrayed by Bella Thorne (who, I might add, doesn’t exist in the book.)
The two adaptations couldn’t be more different. The movie franchise changed everything. Book-Bianca has crippling anxiety, a run away mother, a ridiculous denial complex, an unhealthy relationship with sex and a strong cynical nature. I admire Book-Bianca so much, because she is so perfectly flawed and relatable.
Movie-Bianca, while still being incredibly badass and sassy, is not the same person. In the movie, her dad is the runaway. In the movie, she doesn’t have a friends with benefits type relationship with Wesley Rush. In the movie, the main focus seems to be social media.
Enter bitchy Madison Morgon. Her role of the movie is to be hated, and mission accomplished. Social media queen, she is a self professed walking reality show. She has a minion to document every waking minute of her daily life, and Madison stands as an obstacle between Wesley and Bianca.
It is interesting how the director (Ari Santel) chooses to make social media a main focal point of the film. It is brilliant, creative, artistic and very, very modern. She turned a potentially dark narrative and made it comical, it’s genius really. But did she have to take away Bianca’s issues? Did she have to tone it down to her just being a little bit awkward? Couldn’t have her protagonist be too f*cked up now, could she?
The difference I noticed most was how easy the book was to read. The movie is definitely easy to watch too. I mostly fell for the book characters, and how Bianca turned the label ‘DUFF’ into a positive thing. The book faces insecurities head on, instead of making social media the prime focal point.
Overall, I’d rate the book a solid 4 stars out of 5, and give the movie a 3.5 star rating. I mean, Robbie Amell has his shirt off, and I can relate to that.