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October Book Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

by Julie Murphy


As I tweeted at Julie Murphy, I really do wish this book was around when I was going through bullying in middle and high school. 

Maybe then I would of known that some girls are just mean. 
Some girls just needed someone to pick on and I was an easy target, but it was not a reflection upon my actual self.

Maybe I would of embraced my tallness a lot sooner and bought a lot more high heels for school dances. 

I did get through all of that crud and married a very tall(6ft 7in) and amazing man.
 I now own more high heels.

 I am also grateful to know that high schoolers who are getting picked on and body shamed, now have a great book to turn to and see themselves reflected in the pages.


Moving on!

Plot Summary:
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.

*Quoted from GoodRead's publisher summary.

My Thoughts:
I love Willowdean. She is very confident in herself most of the time, but she is also vulnerable at other times. This makes her just like everyone else in the world and easy to relate to her. At times in the story you can feel Willowdean's urge to give up and disappear into the crowd. Ultimately she sticks with her goals and decides that the best revenge is to live your life and best the best version of yourself. It's not worth it to get bogged down with the opinions that others have of you. 

This book is filled with wise words along with some fun. Who can resist a book full of big southern personalities, drag queens, and Dolly Parton.

 I knew on page 13 that I would love this book when Willowdean states, "...because on the 8th day God created Ranch dressing."

Excited at the possibility of meeting Ms. Murphy at the Southern Festival of Books during a panel on "Breaking the YA mold" which I will be dragging my husband to while we are on vacation in Nashville.


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