Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is a YA Contemporary about embracing body image and beauty pageants.
“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.”
I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and I can officially say that they are right!
This was an inspiring book, and not only for body weight positivity. This story can empower anyone, because try as we might, there may be something about ourselves that we aren’t the biggest fan of. Julie Murphy brings a character that realizes that it’s ok to embrace who we are and let it shine.
I also really enjoyed reading the bluntness that we hear from Willowdean. She’s very relatable, and makes many references to body image from the past and present. Even though we are following as she makes a bold decision when it comes to the local beauty pageant, but we also see another, insecure side to relationships and the thoughts that we all realistically have in the back of our minds.
I really enjoyed this book, and gave it a 5 out of 5 star rating. I do think that the ending was pretty abrupt, but overall, I think the writing and plot in general stood over this one flaw that I had with the book.
Overall, this was such an inspiring and blunt book that I quickly read in just a few sittings. I can’t wait to watch the Netflix movie soon!
If you are a fan of Dolly Parton, you will fall in love with this book. You quickly realize that she is embedded in the heart of this book.
Published: 15 September 2015
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
How I Read It: Hardcover from September 2015 Owlcrate box
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