Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into reading Dumplin’. I hated Julie Murphy’s last book, Side Effects May Vary, but I’d heard so many great things about this book. My book club selected this book; otherwise I may not have read it. I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed it.

Willowdean (aka Dumplin’, her mom’s nickname for her) is the overweight daughter of a former beauty pageant winner. Her mother now runs the town’s teen pageant. Willowdean has always been more like her aunt, who’s just died. Amidst the usual teen drama – first love and a falling out with her best friend – Willowdean also decides to enter the beauty pageant as a sort of tribute to her aunt. She inadvertently inspires some other misfits from her school to do the same.

This book is a great girl power story, and it has an adorable romantic plot line as well. I blew through it – almost in one day. I spent one Sunday pretty much reading this book and avoiding everything else I was supposed to be doing. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the characters, and I honestly wasn’t sure how it was going to end right up until the last few pages.

Rating: 4 Stars

Julie Murphy
Young Adult Fiction
Balzer + Bray
September 15, 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.

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  1. Great review, I never read side effects may vary but this sound more up my street anyone. As someone who’s overweight myself I love reading about characters who are as well, especially when they have this amazing confidence to do things I wouldn’t do in a million years! I think I’m really glowing to enjoy dumplin when I get around to reading it!?
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