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Dumplin' | Julie Murphy | Review


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. 
While Dumplin' has been out since 2015, it was only this past month that I got around to picking it up. Perhaps I was prompted by the Netflix movie and wanting to see that but read the book first, or the fact that I was given Puddin' by Julie Murphy and wanted to read Dumplin' before getting stuck into Puddin' (although I don't think it matters if you read them in order). Whatever the reason, I finally picked it up.

This was a really sweet book, and the description above pretty much says it all. Dumplin' was a fun read, and overall I enjoyed it. There were definitely parts that I was really annoyed about (Willowdean has long periods of not talking to two different characters, and the reasons behind her decision and anger were a touch on the ridiculous side), and there was a whole thing with 'mums' in the book that I got super confused about when both the author and the characters are American (and so therefore say 'Mom'). That was, however, until I did some Googling and discovered that a 'mum' is a Texan homecoming thing, and not just the British spelling of 'mom'.

While the book had it's moments of ridiculousness, it also had plenty of 'naw' moments and you were definitely cheering for Will the whole time. I can safely say that I can now watch the film.

Have you read Dumplin'? What did you think? 

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