Kody Keplinger. True, she’s about ten years younger than me. Okay, we live in completely different states and we only talk online. Fine, whatever, she’s a girl and we’re both straight. But I refuse to let the pipe dream die. As I told her before— during one of my many stalking adventures—that I must first procure a proper dowry before asking for her hand.
Why would I do such a thing, you ask? Because the girl is freaking AWESOME! Oh, and she wrote this book called The DUFF. (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) I’m not gonna go into the plot; I think the title pretty much sums it up. Although, I will say it’s a breath of fresh air for the literary asthmatic.
It’s not about the nerdy girl who gets a make-over and becomes prom queen. It’s not about the average chick who doesn’t think she’s pretty despite every boy in school wanting to sex her up. And it’s not about a spoiled rich girl turned emo. It’s right there in black and white: I’m ugly as sin AND I’m the star of the show.
I love it because girls like Bianca are always the BFF in the story, the shoulder to cry on, the slutty comic relief who secretly envies the main character. For most YA books, internalization never goes any further than that, and the reader never discovers why the girl behaves that way.
This should be an example to other writers. If you’re going to portray an average main character, then make her AVERAGE, or even coyote ugly. Give her REAL flaws that her peers can agree on, or make her appearance irrelevant to the point where she is completely invisible. That means that you might have to roll up your sleeves and apply personality to the character, which would make them attractive or at least endearing. Jane Eyre was a dawg, but her strong morals and personality made her lovable.
The reason I have a love hate relationship with YA is due to how un-relatable most female protagonists are. Seriously, how can I connect with a girl who thinks she’s ugly yet practically slips on the puddles of drool left by her male classmates? That’s just a neurotic attention whore fishing for compliments, if you ask me. Girls like that were cut in my high school or had acid thrown in their faces for less, so the coquettish act only makes you a moving target in the real world.
On a personal note, I, too was a DUFF back in school—well, a DFF. Guys said I had a pretty face, but everything from the neck-down was subject for debate. Plus, I was too damn tall. People only knew me as the friend of someone who was popular. Awkwardness ensued. The end.
Everyone had their underdog moments in high school, which is why this book offers truth to many. Some of that truth is painful, some of it is beautiful, some you don’t want to remember, and some you can’t forget.
So if you excuse me, I have to finish the last three chapters and buy a large engagement ring.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Ode 2 The DUFF
Hey guys! Have you ever had a story in your head that you just had to get out? The characters you created are so lively and outg...
This is why READING is SO important for writers. It’s called research. Every innovative market does this. Fashion designers see what’s in an...
(Warning: lots of swearing. Anger does that to people.) Those who follow my tweets know about my strong displeasure for the Va...
The end is near and so is the third installment of The Cambion Chronicles! Samara and her band of townies are back with a new ba...
Are you a fan of the Cambion Chronicles? Can’t wait to see what happens next? Take the fan quiz on Goodreads for a chance to win ...
Yes, it is and this was a long time coming. I'll sum it up like this... BONNIE BENNETT IS STILL ALIVE? YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDIN...