Young Adult, Contemporary
Part of a Series?:
September 15th, 2015
You Can Find the Book At:
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.
I was so incredibly impressed with the first book that I ever read by Julie Murphy. I do own her first book but honestly just haven’t had the chance to dive into it yet. Have you seen my TBR pile? Its massive!
Anyway, I had heard some really good things about Dumplin’ and I knew I eventually wanted to get my hands on it and was SERIOUSLY stoked when I got it in one of my OwlCrate boxes (You rock, OwlCrate). I decided that I needed to get on that right away and I did. And I read it fast.
Here’s the thing: I could sit here and tell you that its a great book about body positivity and that we should have more books like this and that it preaches self confidence and all this stuff. I could go on and on about that but I’m not going to.
Because even though that’s all true, very very true, there’s just so much to this book. I absolutely adore Willowdean. I love that she just sort of accepts the person that she is, and I love that. Willowdean is Willowdean. She’s big but that’s just the way it is. But she has insecurities and she has a hard time sometimes believing in herself or her own attractiveness but I never sit here and feel like its specifically because she’s fat. She has this because she’s a teenager and she’s going through the same shit that we all go through when we’re teenagers. THAT is what I love about it. Sure, we have body positivity, sure we have diversity with a character that isn’t perfect and pretty and skinny. But Julie doesn’t make it a big thing, not to me anyway.
Willowdean is a great, familiar, awesome character that just happens to be bigger and THAT is what makes it so good. She creates this character that is SO different from maybe what we’re used to in YA but we all connect with her because she feels so real and familiar. She has a shitty job and there’s a cute boy that can’t make up his mind about her and she’s like WTF (I’m 27 and I still deal with this crap…) and that’s what makes it so good. Creating diversity by making a diverse character who has these differences but connects with everyone…GENIUS.
I have no idea if I’m making any sense.
Basically, I totally loved this book. I adore Willowdean and kind of wish she was my best friend. She’s a great character and THAT is what makes this story so damn good. The story itself is great but Willowdean carries it and its definitely one of my favorites of the year.
4.5 out of 5 Stars