Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Pages: 375 (hardcover)
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis: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.
So, this little book has been sitting on my shelf for a while and I could kick myself for not picking it up sooner.
This book is adorable and real.
I seriously fell in love with Will from the start. She is who she is and makes no apologies. She's happy with her body and has embraced herself in a way that other people don't. I love that. As a thirty-something-year-old woman, that is difficult. I love that this character does it.
Bo, is a cute and sweet and mysterious, everything a YA hero should be. He also really likes Will, but that's kind of what damages her.
Will doesn't think that boys like Bo should like her. She starts to doubt herself and, when some truth about Bo comes out, it breaks her a little.
I love watching Will take on the world (her high school/town). It's scary and a little sad at times, but it's honest and raw, too. Like I said, Will makes no apologies for who she is and it's admirable. Her relationship with Bo, El, the girls, and even Mitch are all real and tough.
This book is a great example of what a YA book should be. It's inspiring to girls of all ages. Definitely pick this up.