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Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' (edition 2015)

by Julie Murphy (Author)

Series: Dumplin' (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5781037,996 (4.02)28
Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.
Authors:Julie Murphy (Author)
Info:Balzer Bray (2015), Edition: First Edition, First Printing, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Dumplin' by Julie Murphy



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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
I'm going to come back to this one, I think it has so much potential, but I'm not feeling it right now. I'm at page 74.
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
The subtitle here is "Go Big or Go Home." This is a great YA read because it presents the reality of high school. Most kids have a couple good friends, something about themselves that they hate or struggle with, and are just trying to make it through without making a fool of themselves. Willowdean Dickson is the narrator of this story set in Clover City TX and she is a plus-size girl, who until recently had been comfortable in her own skin. But her best "cheerleader," her Aunt Lucy died within the last year, due to health related issues of her own obesity, her best friend Ellen is buying into typical teen hype (sex, popularity), and she caught the eye of a cute boy Bo and can't believe he likes her as is. Will puts herself into a major funk over these issues and turns people away left and right. She has never been close to her own mother, who doesn't understand her weight and happens to run the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant every year. The title refers to her age-old nickname for Will, which she has just begun chafe against. Things come to a head when her mom starts to clean out Aunt Lucy's room and things to make space for all the pageant stuff. Will finds an old beauty pageant application that Lucy never filled out and begins to see all the things Lucy missed out on, not just because of her size, but because of her self doubt and insecurity about it. Along with a couple other misfit girls, Will signs up for the pageant and they navigate that insane world of superficiality with humor and self-confidence. Meanwhile, Bo makes his intentions clear and sincere, so Will has to overcome her own fears about getting involved. The climax is the pageant and it does not disappoint, although it does lack some detail. I love that Will changes on the inside, rather than the outside and achieves a self-acceptance that many adults lack. She comes to the conclusion : "Sometimes figuring out who you are means understanding that we are a mosaic of experiences." ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |

From the book jacket: 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.

My reactions:
I grew up in Texas and am very familiar with the small-town beauty pageant hysteria. I hadn’t read the jacket blurb, nor seen the NetFlix (?) show, but the cover captured my attention.

I really liked the story arc about Will’s efforts regarding the pageant and how she inspires other girls who don’t fit the standard “beauty-queen” stereotype to step up as well. I also really liked the exploration of the mother-daughter relationship, and the friendships … and all the hiccups that are bound to happen in any such relationships.

I was somewhat less happy with the “romance” aspect, especially in the way Will treated Mitch. Still, I think Murphy did a good job of showing consequences of one’s actions. And I guess we were all once self-centered teenagers who bought into the romance hype of fiction and movies. Heck, I still buy into that HEA stuff … who doesn’t want a feel-good ending?!

Eileen Stevens does a great job of performing the audio book. She was believable as a teenager and as an adult. ( )
  BookConcierge | Sep 12, 2020 |
This book is my soul and I'm going to treasure it forever. ( )
  HotvlkvlkeHokte | Sep 8, 2020 |
This is a phenomenal book. I don't really know what I was expecting, but...it was amazing.
I loved the emotional arcs, the growth arcs, and augh. It really did blow me away.
I looooved it.
10/10 for a...not necessarily coming of age story but familial reconnection, friendship growing book. Just phenomenal. ( )
  m_mozeleski | Aug 22, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Murphyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stevens, EileenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

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