Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy Review and Giveaway

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy Review and GiveawayDumplin' by Julie Murphy
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 15th 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchase

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.

Willowdean (her mom calls her Dumplin, friends call her Will) is a self-described fat girl in a small Texas town best known that is best known for a beauty pageant. Will has never lacked for confidence, but the attentions of a gorgeous jock leave her second-guessing herself. Can she get her mojo back?

Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ is a really fun and empowering read. Willowdean is a body positive role model who doesn’t need to change for anyone. Her mother runs the big-deal beauty pageant and prides herself on fitting into her own pageant gown so many years later. She thinks Willowdean should lose the weight, but Willowdean is happy in her own skin.

Will’s never wanted to be a beauty queen before, but drama in her life makes her think why not? When she enters Clover City’s Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant, she inspires other unconventional aspiring beauty queens to try their hand at the crown as well.

But coming up with a beauty pageant talent and gown isn’t the only thing on Will’s mind. Her coworker Bo at the fast food joint seems to have feelings for her but keeps their makeout sessions on the down low. Does he really like her and what would it be like to walk with him down the halls? Another guy at school, footballer Mitch, wants to take her to dances and show her off. Will’s life is starting to mirror the Dolly Parton songs she loves so much.

Another blow to Will’s confidence is that she’s having friendship drama with her BFF Ellen, and her beloved Aunt Lucy recently passed away. She’s being the leading lady for the first time and isn’t able to gab about it with her confidantes. But she is also a role model for the other new beauty pageant participants and that opens her eyes to new friends and experiences.

This thought-provoking, girl power book was a joy to read and I rooted for Willowdean all the way. I’m happy that we will get to see a movie version of Dumplin’ on the big screen someday!

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8 thoughts on “Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy Review and Giveaway

  1. Clarisa says:

    The fact this book is about ‘No I’m not going to lose weight since I’m amazing and yes people do consider me fat but fat people are beautiful too”. Her mom wants her to lose weight but Will is like, “No I’m perfect as I am”. I’ll love to find out what type of girls also are trying to get their hands on the crown.

  2. Clarisa says:

    It make me so happy to find another girl not wanting to lose weight at all but only is trying to get her confidence back. My favorite YA heroine has to be Alina from Shadow and Bone series.

  3. I’m glad to see body positive books out there for the YA crowd so I’d love to read this book!

    bermudaonion (Kathy) recently posted: Review: Goodnight Selfie
  4. anne says:

    This book sounds unique and inspiring since that is how I felt when I was growing up. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  5. Cherie Saylor Garrett says:

    My favorite YA character is DJ from Dairy Queen. I really like the idea of Dumplin and being from Texas and know as a teacher how hard it is for the fat girls to fit in or not.

  6. Nikki says:

    I’ve heard so many good things about this book! I can’t wait to read it. And my favorite YA heroine will always be Hermione!!

  7. Alice Lionel says:

    I absolutely love the cover. Minimal but intriguing. Also, self-love and body-positive books are so amazing! My favorite YA heroine would be Annabelle Chase!

    Alice Lionel recently posted: Stacking the Shelves (#6)
  8. Hi there, looks like a fab book! It would be great if you added your review to the Books You Loved: October collection over at Carole’s Chatter. Cheers

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