by Julie Murphy
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Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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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)
Willowdean Dickson, also known as Dumplin' by her mother, is a self-proclaimed fat girl. She's never been one to let her weight bother her, not until Bo, her co-worker and former basketball jock, starts to show interest in her. Instead of being flattered by Bo's attention, Will is instead starts to doubt herself, and Bo as well. In attempt to earn back her confidence, Will does something that no one expects, with the help of a few friends, and enters Miss Clover City beauty pageant. There she discovers things she never knew about herself.
One of the things that I really loved about this book was how much I was able to relate to Willowdean. While I didn't have the issues she has while I was in high school, I have them now, and I have to say that most days I feel exactly the same way she felt when she starts having doubts about herself. But I absolutely love her confidence, and I wish I could have just an ounce of it for myself. I loved her will to overcome. She's seriously such an awesome character; she's definitely one of my new idols!
I devoured this book in just a few hours time. I seriously did not want to put it down, and when I had to, I couldn't wait to get back to it. The storyline was addictive and kept me entertained throughout. I loved everything from the Dolly Parton addiction, to the beauty pageant escapades, and especially the romance and red suckers. This book has it all!
Overall; Dumplin' is the second book by Julie Murphy that I've devoured and completely adored. I loved the storyline and the characters and every other single thing about this book. I really can't wait to see what Murphy comes up with in her next book, due out next year!