Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Published: September 2015
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.
First off, let me just say that Willowdean definitely stole my heart! If I could give this a higher rating I most likely would! Right off the bat you saw Dumplin' defying what most women (of all sizes) have been to afraid to do...To be comfortable in your own skin, no matter who tells you otherwise.
I would have to say that I could definitely relate to Dumplin' because I am somewhat of a plus sized girl. I work in a plus sized store, and I am so comfortable with the people I am around at my work to know that we all share the same difficulties. Dumplin' is showing that because you may have them, it doesn't mean you shouldn't go for what you want. "If you was a perfect bikini body, then put a bikini on your body" simple as that!
I have to say that I really love the Southern language that Julie uses. Sometimes I find that when reading a lot of books, I tend to get bored from the same use of language. So having a different style makes it refreshing, but also more entertaining.
The communication between Dumplin' and her mother is definitely strained, because it feels like her mother has a hard time accepting that her daughter is plus sized. But there were some moments that you could tell that she really loves her and would do anything for her. When Dumplin' discusses how her mother hates sighing, I actually laughed out out!
Also, I know that some readers may not be happy with some of the language, like swearing, but I find that it makes it way more relatable to the person reading. Like Dumplin' is in high school, and lets be honest, High school students swear...a lot. So having language that can be relatable to the reader, makes the experience more entertaining, because they feel that they can understand the character better.
For Dumplin' I feel though that right when someone likes her she clams up and automatically feels self conscious about her body. It makes me sad that she thinks she is "disgusting" because of her "back fat" and the fact that someone is touching her body. She has spunk and I love how she doesn't let things get to her...except the fact that someone likes her. She just has so much confidence, and inner strength she probably doesn't even know it.
I personally never went to my high school dance/prom, but I feel like if I had Dumplin' as a best friend or even her own confidence, then I would have gone....probably without having to write on my forehead. LOL! I honestly think that Dumplin' is so bad ass, but she has some things to work on. For me I think that having a character like Bo being attracted to Dumplin' is a little like a Unicorn (something rare) but that's what also makes it a great story! It pushes boundaries and makes our fantasy possibly a reality.
Mitch is such a gentleman. I swear that he is every girl's dream, yet Dumplin' seems be confused about both him and Bo. I can't really say a lot because I would be spoiling a lot from the story, but it has all the feels!
My favourite quote by far from this book has to be, "Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we're all chasing." I think that we all have this type of perfection that we are aiming for, but there isn't one type, which makes this whole story make sense, and meaningful!
Overall I love how at the end she just comes out and says that she is not afraid of who she is, and it doesn't matter who tells her otherwise. The writing was great, the story line was entertaining and if we all had even a little bit of Dumplin' in our lives, I think we would all be somewhat happier! I was though very sad about how it ended. It was done well, but I really wanted more out of the story! Maybe there will be a second book?? or a film feature?
So there is my review for Dumplin by Julie Murphy. I hope you enjoyed it, and I definitely recommend you to read it!
So until then, Keep Reading!
Your Graduated Bookworm! :)