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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The DUFF Pre-Screening Event, Rereading, & More!

Last week, just as 2014 came to a close, my brother and I embarked on a road trip that ended in a pre-screening of The DUFF, based on the novel by Kody Keplinger.

Now, I admit. I was nervous. And totally excited because I adored The DUFF when I first read it in 2010 and I'm just a huge fan of Kody as a person and author. The fact that her book and characters would be on the big screen made me both excited and proud. I was also a little bit nervous because I was bringing my 19-year old brother along, who was on break from college at University of Michigan. I wrangle him into all kinds of things, but this was something I wasn't 100% sure about. I mean, the trailer makes The DUFF look like a chick flick; I wasn't sure about the guy appeal. I loved the book, so I had that to latch on to, even if I didn't end up liking the movie, but he had no prior attachments. But, hey, I made him watch Pitch Perfect once and he thought it was funny, so I figured it was worth a shot.


After checking in and exploring the touristy parts of Novi - and by that I mean their huge mall - we arrived to the theater 30 minutes early. We approached the ticket desk, ending up behind two teen guys who were also attending the early screening. They were talking about how excited they were, which I think made my brother feel better. Okay, so it made me feel better about bringing my brother along.

Even though we were early, there were already lots of people in the theater. We found our seats, which were reserved and made us feel super fancy. And me a little awkward because I'm a major introvert when it comes to non-bookish things and oh, hey, there's my name in ALL CAPS.


My brother, Jacob, in our fancy schmancy reserved seats.

I was amazed by how diverse the audience was. There were definitely lots of teens there, but there were lots of older viewers there too. People who I wouldn't necessarily pegged as the target audience. I wondered if maybe I should have asked my grandmother if she was up for a road trip... I'm kind of kidding, but also not, as you'll find out later in this post. I'm not entirely sure how people ended up with tickets and/or invites to this particular pre-screening, but I was super curious to see how everyone would react. I tried to sneakily take pictures of the audience. I was neither that sneaky, nor that good a photographer.
Viewers in front of us.
Viewers in back of us.

The pre-screening was hosted by someone. I'm not really sure what her name was, but I think she was a (fashion?) blogger from Chicago. She introduced the movie and said that she hoped it would bring on a new surge of good teen movies, like Never Been Kissed, 10 Things I Hate About You, Mean Girls, etc. I completely agreed with her; those are the movies that I find myself rewatching, partially out of nostalgia, partially because they're funny.

And then it began. Rather quickly I might add because, at a pre-screening, there are no other movie trailers.

And, guess what? I loved it. My brother loved it. It seemed like a vast majority of the audience loved it. It was seriously funny, smart, and, though it wasn't exactly like the book it still had the same heart. And, largely, the same message. Also, when Kody made a quick cameo, I may have exclaimed a bit more loudly than appropriate, "That's Kody!" and pointed wildly at the screen.

Of course, the plot was changed slightly. There were also things about each character that were changed. For example, I've been seeing comments about the fact that it looks like they pretty much failed at making Mae Whitman into a DUFF. Guys! That's the point. There is no DUFF. Or, rather, we're all DUFFs. You can argue either way. That's one of the things that Bianca, other characters, and YOU are supposed to learn by the end of the book/movie.  Basically - and I don't think this is a spoiler to mention this - Bianca's biggest flaw in the movie is that she's really messy. Which, as you might know, is different from the book, in which she compulsively folds clothes to feel a sense of control and calm. It's possible Movie Bianca had never folded clothes in her entire life. Another pretty big change is that there really isn't a focus on slut shaming or sexuality because there isn't any sex in the movie. Which I was okay with, because that would have made The DUFF into an entirely different type of movie and it's totally okay that it wasn't that movie.


So yes, things are going to be different than the book. But that's okay! I encourage fans of Kody Keplinger and the book The DUFF to see this film. And I encourage those who are interested in the movie to read the book too! It was interesting to see what changed between the two. And to appreciate both for what they are and what they are not. Kody's book, to me, is heavier. It deals with some really serious themes. I think it's important and a really well-done novel. On the other hand, the movie is lighter. It's funny, clever, and seriously entertaining. Simply put, it made me happy - I could not stop smiling - and I can't wait to see it again.

And I think some other viewers felt the same way. As I heard while eavesdropping on two older women in the audience:

Lady A: "Well, what did you think?"
Lady B: "I loved it! I'm a DUFF!"

Big shout out to New Leaf Literary who made it possible for me to attend these early screening! And my coworkers at Brilliant Books for swapping schedules so I could have a couple days off.

And make time to read The DUFF this year! Stay tuned for more details about a group re-read that will be happening soon. The movie will officially open in theaters February 20th.




Find more info here:


39 comments:

  1. I loved the book and can't wait to see the movie! I'm glad you enjoyed it! =D

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  2. Movie sounds great, but I wonder why they changed her flaw.

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  3. Oh yes, totally lookign forward to watching The DUFF! Glad you had fun. =D

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  4. Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway!

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  5. I love your goals! Reading a book a day scared me and then I realized reading a children's book counts and I love that idea now.
    Also, just a tip, the best way to get better at writing reviews of comics and graphic novels is to read a bunch. I review comics at WatchPlayRead.com and it was hard at first too, but reading other people's reviews helped me see how to discuss them. Hope that helps! :)

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  6. This looks so exciting! I can't wait to the movie - I loved the book :)

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  7. I'm very much looking forward to this one.

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  8. I hope you love it as much as I did!

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  9. So glad you're excited for it!

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  10. Honestly, I think it's not so much that they changed her flaw, but that they created one. In the book, it's supposed to be that Bianca is the DUFF, the least attractive one in the group. Of course, by the end of the book, Bianca and the reader realize that nobody and everybody is a DUFF. We all have strengths and weaknesses; we're all beautiful in different ways. Now in the book, Bianca's perception of herself - and therefore the reader's perception - changes as she grows and comes to understand this. She sees herself as beautiful and worthy, just as she was from the very beginning. This is pretty difficult to do on-screen - you can't really convey that transformation in a physical, on-screen sense. So they made her sloppy and pretty apathetic when it comes to fashion and whatnot.

    Sorry - long response - but that's how I interpreted it. :)

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  11. I love including picture books, they help keep my head in the game, even when I'm not in the mood for a full novel!

    And thank you for the graphic novel/comic review writing tip. I'm sure you're right. The more I read, the more comfortable I'll be with the format, plus, having lots of others to compare to will give fodder for the review. Great advice, Stefani! :D

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  12. I fell short of my goal a couple years ago. I felt super disappointed in myself, but, in the end, I had still read a lot of great books! And I know it's only a few days in to 2015, but I'm really trying to stick with my goals. So far, so good!

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  13. We have that graphic novels at the store and I keep thinking I should pick it up! I've really started to love graphic novels, especially when I need a break from regular novels but still want an in-depth story. I find it hard to read e-galleys of them though - maybe it'd be easier with an iPad or something, but I only have my laptop & Kindle.



    And I've found I really like memoirs of chefs. Random, right?

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  14. I feel that, once you find the right type of contemporary YA, you'll be sucked right in! Let me know if you ever need recommendations. :)

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  15. Thanks, Jacklin! Likewise. :)

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  16. I used to read exclusively Fantasy. Have you ever read David Eddings, Kate Forsyth, Sharon Shinn, or Anne Bishops? They were some of my favorites!

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  17. Counting graphic novels & pictures books makes a HUGE difference. I probably read only 150 or so YA & MG novels, 20 adult books, and the rest are picture bks and graphic novels. I hope you have a productive 2015 as well, Cassie!

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  18. Like I told someone above, counting picture books makes a huge difference. Once I read 40 picture books over the course of one day - I could, obviously, never do that with novels. ha!

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  19. I find that, if I'm really selective with my nonfiction and stick to narrative nonfiction, I'm more likely to get into it. I'm not sure I could ever read a business or political book, but memoirs and things like that are more my speed!

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  20. Oh don't do that, Kezia! Anyone who read ANY amount of books should be proud. Think of all those people who don't read at all? What do they do with all their time?? ;) I hope you meet all your 2015 goals too!

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  21. I hope you find time to participate, Kay!

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  22. It's out now! You totally should. And then link your review. :D

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  23. I hope you find time to participate, Lisa! (And notice that I fixed the date. :D )

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  24. So glad to here that, Samantha. I never know if people are really into it or not! And I totally know what you mean - it's rare that I don't like even one book on these lists!

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  25. A few years ago I was a rabid Food Network watcher and definitly would have been into a few chef biographies at that time. :)

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  26. If you ever feel like reading a chef memoir, I highly recommend YES, CHEF. So, so interesting.

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  27. I am going to add it to GR because I am trying to keep in mind to read more Non Fiction. Seeing it on my to read shelf will remind me. :)

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  28. No! I'll definitely have to check them out though!

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  29. I just read this book the other day and I love it! But when I watch the trailer it doesn't look as good. It seems like they change the story. Didn't her two best friends became bitches in the movie? And Bianca ain't even ugly! So I didn't watch the movie. It will just infuriates me further.

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  30. It's definitely very different from the book. Lighter and fluffier, for sure. But, I can tell you that the friends are actually super nice in the movie. And smart! They're both kind of idiots in the book, but relatively badass in the movie. That was actually a positive change!

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  31. Really? I thought her firends are going to be evil in the movie. Guess I was wrong! Looks like I'll just have to watch this! :)

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  32. All the Bright Places...this book...it...YES. My review is here

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  33. Christina R.


    I LOVE the DUFF! It was so real and with characters who grew so much, it's wonderful you loved the movie and that the changes they made made sense and actually made it a more popular movie!


    Lovely post :)

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  34. Thanks Sara. I've actually tried a few of contemporary like All the Bright Places and Gracefully Grayson and I like them so much! I'll check out your blog more often to see if any books you reviewed catches my attention. :)

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  35. Gah, I am woefully behind in my winter reading! I got caught in an adulty-book spiral. Thankfully, I just hopped back on the YA bandwagon and it's full speed ahead!

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  36. So I kind of screwed up originally. My first linky does not lead to anything, and should not count as an entry. Oops... :)

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