I’m here today to give you guys my review for Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy as part of the UK Dumplin’ blog tour!
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.
I received this book for review but this did not affect my review at all.
I have been very excited about this book ever since I first heard about it. I have read Julie Murphy’s previous novel, Side Effects May Vary and I quite enjoyed it. But when I heard about this one, I was all over it. I had never heard of anything like this and I love the fact that this book exists. I really enjoyed this book.
Willowdean is our main character and I loved her. She is unapologetic for the way she is but she isn’t completely confident in herself which I found to be very relatable. If a character is completely comfortable in their own skin or if they are incredibly insecure, I get slightly turned off but Willowdean was the perfect mix of confidence and insecurity. I could quite honestly believe that she existed somewhere. I loved the fact that we never found out her actual size because it left it all up to our imagination and it also wouldn’t put any readers in an uncomfortable position, as might have happened if she had given a size.
I really enjoyed the setting of this novel. I have read very little novels set in Texas but to see this small little village that has a big community feel was quite refreshing and fun. The friendships in this novel are fabulous! All the supporting characters were absolutely fantastic as was Julie Murphy’s writing. She really understands people and gives everyone a layer and I love that about her.
The negatives? I think there could have been a lot more of the pageant. I loved what we saw but I wanted to see more. Will also seemed to not really care much or put in a lot of effort to win the pageant which made me sad. I would also have liked to have seen a little bit more development of the love story. They’ve already met at the start of the novel and I honestly didn’t understand Will’s obsession with Bo. It was never explained fully why she was in love with him.
Other than that, this book was fantastic and I strongly recommend it to all. I really like Julie Murphy’s writing and I cannot wait to see what else she does in the future.