Friday, November 27, 2015

REVIEW: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

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 is a fat girl and she's not afraid to say it. She's comfortable in her own body, despite her mom's (the former beauty queen) insistence that she lose weight.  Will grows feelings for her co-worker, Bo, and ends up having a summer relationship with her. For some reason, Will begins to feel doubt about herself, so she does something that she never expected to do: enter her mom's beauty pageant.

I had high expectations for this book and it just wasn't what I expected. First of all, it was a bit boring. Will doesn't even get the idea to go into the pageant until more than halfway through the book! That's the main part of the book! And everything also felt incredibly draggy. Honestly, not a whole lot happened. Still, there were enjoyable moments.

Besides the mostly positive reviews, I wanted to read this book because of the meaning it provides. This books deals with body positivity, something that the book world needs. I know that many, myself included, are not comfortable in their own skin and I like having a character that is actually comfortable in her skin, and heck, I like the fact that there's a fat MC without a focus on getting skinny (like most books).

I must mention, though, that Will did bother me at times. She wasn't very good with her relationships. Meaning: she picked fights with those close to her and I thought some of it was unnecessary. For example: she got in a huge fight with her best friend,Ellen, because Will didn't want her to be in the pageant. Why? Because Ellen might actually win. Will wasn't aiming to win this thing and she wasn't letting her best friend enter because there's the small chance she might win. What? Will just have issues with relationships in this book. She was also against the misfits entering and was borderline judgmental about them. While I don't like some things Will did, we all have our flaws and some of the other characters weren't squeaky-clean either. It bothered me at points, but it's all realistic.

There's romance in this book. I don't want to say much about the romance because it's just more of Will's bad decision making. She kind of rebounds and leads a poor, sweet guy on. I also didn't particularly like Bo's decision making either.

I know I sound like I didn't like this book. I kept complaining and complaining, but I actually liked it. Most of my complaining is because I heard so many amazing things about this book beforehand and was kind of let down. Overall, I liked the idea of this book and how it talks about being comfortable in your own skin. It's a needed book in the YA market.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

1 comment :

  1. You're right, there's a ton of buzz for this one saying it's super good. I still haven't gotten to it, but I plan to. Sounds like a book to check out of the library rather than buy, though.