on September 15, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Dumplin’ had my heart from the very beginning. With a through and through southern girl character with a immense love of Dolly Parton, how could I possibly resist this book? But Dumplin’ is even more than meets the eye.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy has quite a bit going on in it. A main character trying to overcome body issues, grieving a loved one, a friendship on the brink of collapse, a beauty pageant and secret kisses. It sounds like a lot, right? But it’s all executed so well that it doesn’t feel overwhelming in the least.
Willowdean is one of those girls that just about anyone can relate to. She’s confident but insecure, sassy, and just plain fun. It was so easy to adore her and get swept up in her life. We meet her at such a rough time, it was wonderful to see her overcome so many different obstacles in her path. You really can’t help but love her.
Dumplin’ is very poignant in so many different ways, but mainly on the issue of body image. I loved Willowdean’s confused stance on her own body. That she and others should just accept her they way she was, but at the same time she often felt uncomfortable in her own skin. I think no matter our personal shape and size we can all relate to that.
As mentioned before there is kissing in Dumplin’, but it’s not the same everyday YA relationship that you see in most YA contemps. This romance was unique, fun, and sometimes heart wrenching. It was fantastic.
Dumplin’ was a fabulous read with a ton of heart. Also, Dolly Parton is my distant cousin*, so of course I adored the book! I really can’t recommend it enough.