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Book Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

* I have received this book for review from the publisher but this in no way affects my review *

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
from Goodreads
Title:  Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy 
Source: Received from publisher
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Rating: 4.5/5 stars 







Summary of Dumplin' from Goodreads:

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.

Book Review Summary:

When I first heard about this book, I got really excited because I have never read a book with an overweight character before and I just really wanted to read it. The book definitely reached my expectations, it was well-written and really nice characters and a greatly entertaining plot that definitely promotes self confidence and being who you are.  

Plot:

        Dumplin' follows the life of Williowdean, an overweight character who is doesn't care about her weight but her relationship make her doubt herself. This is a book about re finding self-confidence and learning to love yourself. 
         Overall, I really enjoyed the plot of Dumplin' as it was about self-confidence and discovering to love yourself however the majority of the book did focus on the coming of the pageant rather than the pageant itself. Saying this I did enjoy the the things that led up to the pageant and the daily life of Williowdean as it was nice to read about. I also really liked how the plot dealt with Lucy and how she was put into the story and I definitely liked the connection of Williowdean and Lucy and how this leads to other events occurring in the books. I really enjoyed the love triangle in relation to the book as I thought that both boys were equally as lovable and would be increasingly hard to pick between them. Even though I disliked the fact that not a lot of the plot dealt with the pageant itself, I liked the way the whole pagaent got together and it was nice to see what each of the characters was doing in terms of the pageant. The pageant itself was definitely done and it the time that Williowdean shines. This was the time for me that Dumplin' changed from a good book to a great book.   

Characters:

        Overall, I really enjoyed the characters in this book, they were all developed in number ways and I liked reading about them. My favourite character was definitely Williowdean because she was very confident in herself from the beginning of the book. Some people argue that she is not, however she does go to a outside pool in her swimming costume which is something that I would never consider doing, so me she is confident. However I would argue that she does start to believe in herself towards the end of the book especially in the pageant scenes. Williowdean can be quite mean at times but this does not take away from her character and does not make her any less loveable. 
         The side characters of Bo, Mitch and Ellen all need a meant as well as they were all nice characters and their stories evolved over the course of the book. This can be seen with Bo especially as we definitely see more about him as a character as the story continues. Mitch was a character that I also really enjoyed and found him a really sweet and nice. Like Bo and Mitch, I also really liked the character of Ellen especially her friendship with Williowdean although their friendship is rocky over the course of the story. The other friends of Williowdean were also really nice to read about especially about them growing in confidence and loving them-self more which is a nice addition to the story. 
         The main problem I had character wise was the Williowdean's mother as I just didn't like the way she treated Williowdean. I didn't like the fact that she called her Dumplin' as I didn't find it very empowering. I know that Williowdean embraces the name near the end of the novel but it just did not seem right to me....

Writing:

Dumplin' was a really well written book and overall, I really enjoyed it. The writing definitely was inspiring and was very quotable, meaning that there were lots of quotes that I just wanted to pick out because they were really inspiring and celebrated body confidence which I really enjoyed. I also like how the love triangle was put in the book. This is not a trope that I tend to enjoy however I liked the way it was done until the very end and I definitely liked how the love triangle turned out. 

The Verdict:

Dumplin' is a great book that promotes loving yourself what even you look like and is definitely a great read. I know that it is only January but Dumplin' is a stand out book and will probably be one of my favourites of the year. 

Have you read Dumplin'? Did you like it? Leave it in the comments below. 

See you soon, 

Amy

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