Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (and giveaway!)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Pages: 384
Source: BEA
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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. ---Goodreads
Self-proclaimed fat girl, Willowdean, has everything in order.  She knows who she is and what she likes.  However, when her attractive coworker, Bo, sets his sights on her, Will is not sure what to do about it.  She thought she knew how the world worked and boys like Bo weren’t supposed to fall for girls like her.  It confused her, to say the least.  Determined to change the wallowing doubt in her mind of not being good enough, she joins a teen beauty pageant with the mindset of “go big or go home.”  Dumplin’ is an empowering, sassy novel that will leave you in fits of laughter.

The sass level is high with this one.  Willowdean’s attitude coupled with Julie Murphy’s voice made the perfect recipe for a hilarious book.  Not only would Dumplin’ have readers double over in laughter but Murphy is highly quotable.  If you’re looking for some awesome quotes about being yourself, being confident and just being awesome, Murphy has loads for you.

When I started Dumplin’, I expected it to be about this confident girl who was going to change the world.  It definitely started off going in that direction.  However, the more readers got to know Willowdean, the more they find that her confidence hides her insecurities.  Some parts were so raw and real that it is hard to believe it’s fiction.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger reminds me a bit of Dumplin’.  The sass of both protagonists are very similar.  As much as I’d love to say this is the first of its kind, Dumplin’ is not—following in cliché footsteps with the message: people of all sizes can do anything they dream of.  That is to say that the message doesn’t still need to be heard.  Dumplin’ is an inspiring novel, empowering readers to challenge themselves and go for their dreams.

Will was constantly unfocused, changing her mind at every turn.  Murphy’s message still remained but the protagonist was too confused to stay on one path.  It made for a realistic character.  It didn’t really seem to me that she joined the pageant to make any sort of statement.  She joined because of her aunt.  Only when she became an inspiration, afterwards, did she begin to see it as a message.  However, her heart was never in the pageant.  She kept doing everything last minute and Willowdean’s character never really was an inspiration to me—Murphy’s message and the statement that Will was unintentionally advertising was what made Dumplin’ so empowering.

Dumplin’ is the portrayal of a girl outside of her comfort zone, of a girl who is still trying to figure out the world.  It’s a wild page-tuner, hilarious until the very end.

Open to US only
I'm giving away two copies of DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy--- two winners will be picked!
Contest ends September 21, 2015
For more information, check out my policy page!

You Might Also Like