Check out what I thought about DUMPLIN’, a YA contemporary novel by Julie Murphy.
Julie is also running a pre-order campaign. Get the info here.
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.
Thanks to my good friend Carrie for loaning me her ARC of Dumplin’!
Dumplin’ was one of my most anticipated reads of this year. Did this hold up? Not entirely, but that doesn’t mean this book wasn’t enjoyable. I still tore through it in one evening because I couldn’t put it down. I’d say, “After this chapter… no, this one… no, THIS one!”
I stopped after chapter sixty-one (spoiler alert: cause that’s the end).
So how did this book make me read it in one night?
*Willowdean: She’s a great character, the heart of this book, smart, fat, and beautiful.
*The supporting cast of women (Ellen, Hannah, Millie, Amanda): Awesome! More of them, please!
*Willowdean’s part time job: I have no idea why I loved the scenes that took place in Harpy’s so much. It just added a layer of realism to an already realistic contemporary and was a lot of fun.
If you’ve been waiting for this book for months or only just heard about it recently, my suggestion is to go into it not thinking about the hype or your expectations and just enjoy it for what it is. Willowdean is an awesome character who stands up for herself and makes new friends, people she had previously misjudged. I loved seeing her see them clearly for the first time. DUMPLIN’ is a page-turner with good characters and a good theme at its core. Definitely read it!
A few stick out to me but the one I’m going with is: “If I could avert my eyes from all the kissing people ever, I’m positive that my life would be at least 2 percent more fulfilling.” [ARC, page 3–final quote may change]
I FEEL YOU, WILLOWDEAN. I really do.