Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Review: Dumplin' - Julie Murphy

"I'm fat.  It's not a cuss word.  It's not an insult.  At least it's not when I say it."

Title: Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy
ISBN: 9780062327185
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: edelweiss

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.


I loved everything about this book:  the premise, the message, Willowdean, Ellen, Bo - EVERYTHING!  This is a book I would have loved to have when I was crying in a dressing room 'trying on' prom dresses geared towards the thinner of my classmates because nothing fit.  A book which would have helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin, sooner than I did.  A book everyone should read at least once in their lives.

Willowdean is an awesome inspiration to every person, both within the book itself, and to all readers of Dumplin'.  Following along with Willowdean through her daily life, experiencing her self-doubts and her triumphs was like watching the girl I almost was back in high school.  I adored how confident in her own skin Murphy made Willowdean.  Especially in today's world, where the standards of 'beauty' are so skewed and messed up, a book about a teen who, for the most part, doesn't care what the world around her thinks about her body, is a fantastic ray of light.

Add to that, a strong friendship between two girls who're physically polar opposites, a ragtag group of social 'rejects', and a romance where Willow's physical appearance isn't a thing to anyone but her own insecurities, and Dumplin' is just one of those books begging to become a frequent recommendation.

Treat yourself, and add this book about positive body image, friendship, and growing up to be the best that you can be to your TBR list.  I promise it'll be worth it.

-Digital ARC provided by edelweiss, in exchange for a review.

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