Author: Julie Murphy
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Published: September 15, 2015 (Hardcover)
Retail Price: $10.59 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 stars
“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.” – Goodreads
Our main character Willowdean is honest. This whole book is honest. There is no sugar coating how girls looking at their bodies, and what changes and challenges their confidence. Their is no sugar coating what can make and break relationships with anyone; best friends, possible boyfriends, mothers.
Relationships cause for great character development within literally everyone. Our main character obviously grows through many situations as she deal with all of those aforesaid relationships and pulls through. Our side characters: Ellen, Bo, Millie, Hannah, Willowdean’s mom, all grow through something all though it is obviously small compared to our main plot line.
My only problem was the one cliche (quoted below) and the fact that Willowdean and Ellen were made to seem so much older in the beginning of the book. Maybe that’s a good thing, we have mature “young” girls, but the problems they seemed to be dealing with did not relate at all to someone (me) who is just a year younger but that may be just me and my opinions. Finding out that they were only finishing their sophomore year in high school
“I let out a shuddering breath I didn’t know I was holding in” (47).
What a great way to end a book. What a beautiful way to end a book about overcoming your difficulties. It was so satisfying with how everything fell into place where it needed to be. It wasn’t too much, it wasn’t drawn out, it was straight to the point and cute.
“I’m fat… It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult… When I say it” (9).
“On the eighth day God created ranch dressing” (13).
“‘Plus, having sex doesn’t make you a woman'” (17).
“Marcus mumbles something about PMS and… Bo says, ‘Why can’t she just be having a shitty day?'” (38).
“I don’t get why we call it a crush when it feels more like a curse” (39).
“Monday and Friday were just twenty-four-hour stretches of time with different names” (63).
“people don’t look at [Mitch] and think fat. They think athletic” (100).
“‘Texas: Ain’t She Grand’… ‘because grammar is make-believe'” (186).
“Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it” (359).