Rating: 4 / 5
DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy was one of the very few titles I found on my bookshelves for my reading prompt for a book with a title that doesn’t include the letters A, T or Y. When I threw the four books I found from my shelves into a poll, DUMPLIN’ came out on top!
DUMPLIN’ follows Willowdean Dickson (Dumplin’ to her mom and Will to her friends). Willowdean doesn’t shy away from calling herself a fat girl, though her former beauty queen and current beauty pageant professional mother wishes her only daughter would slim down and get in shape. When Willowdean takes a job at a local fast food restaurants, she meets Bo, a boy who seems to be showing an interest in her which she can’t believe. Suddenly she’s feeling more and more self-conscious.
In an attempt to make a statement or to just overcome her self-doubt, Will decides to enter her mother’s beauty pageant. Before she knows it she is joined by several others who do not fit the typical beauty pageant mold. This move creates rifts in her family and friendships even as she attempts to feel more secure with herself.
I really enjoyed DUMPLIN’! While the romance aspect of this one isn’t front and center, I think it had just enough to make it perfect for February! The book is full of fun characters (a couple of which come back as the central focus of the next book in the series, I gather). Still, the real star of the show is Willowdean as she navigates her emotions, from grief at the loss of her aunt with whom she really identified to her first experiences with romance.
This was a fun read after a few heavier reads recently and I’d for sure recommend this one!
Happy Valentines Day (and happy Friday) to you from me and my little furry dumplin’ Kylee!
#AroundTheYearin52Books – a book with a title that doesn’t contain the letters A, T or Y