Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Willowdean Dickson is a teenager living in Texas.  She's a self-proclaimed fat girl and is completely at home in her own skin.  Her mother is a former beauty pageant queen and has been calling Willowdean "Dumplin'" since she was just a little kid.

Will has always been comfortable with herself until the summer before her junior year.  Her relationship with her best friend, Ellen, is on the rocks, and she's smitten with a guy from work, Bo.  She's surprised and a little embarrassed that Bo seems to really like her as well and she's suddenly not so confident about her body and herself in general.

To gain her confidence back, and to prove that she doesn't have to be a size zero to be worthy, Will - as well as a handful of other "unlikely contestants" -  enters the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet pageant.  Along the way, Will navigates her life, finds herself, and shows the town (and herself) a thing or two.

This was a delightful read.  Will has an amazing heart, and is a lot more self-assured than I was as a teenager.  The message is a good one, and an important one.  Will doesn't change who she is in order to prove her point or to compete.  She references fad diets her mom had her do when she was younger, and how as soon as she stopped adhering to the diet she gained all the weight back immediately (and sometimes even more).  She isn't trying to transform anything - she is who she is.  And I love this about her.  The book isn't about Will turning into a beauty queen, it's about how you don't have to conform to have self-worth.

Willowdean is a great character, and she meets up with some other fantastic characters as well.  They're all well developed.  They all have strengths and flaws.  I tore though this book and just loved it.

Click here to check it out for yourself!!

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