Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Expected Publication: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Format: via Edelweiss
Challenges: 2015 NG/ED
Rating: 5/5

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.

My Thoughts
Oh the feels! I loved everything about this book! Willowdean has a special place in my heart because I can so identify with her. Like her I was “bigger” growing up and although I acted like certain things didn’t bother me when it came to guys I was self-conscious. However what I loved the most was how this wasn’t just a book about a big girl and her problems this book was about a girl who had problems just like any other teenage girl would.

We met Willowdean who is trying to cope with the aftermath of the death of her aunt. Her aunt was everything to her; she took care of her and was her second mom. She lives in a small town that is obsessed with pageants and pretty skinny girls and she feels like she doesn’t fit into that world but one day she decides to make it her mission to show everyone that it shouldn’t matter what’s on the outside but what's in the inside that matters most. It doesn’t help that she has a skinny best friend whom until recently were thicker than thieves but are now at odds. Willowdean and Ellen are pulling apart and after one awful fight don’t know if their friendship will survive this storm.

We see Willowdean fall in love with her long time crush/coworker Bo and when he returns her affections I couldn’t help but fall in love with him also. And while Willowdean is confident at times when it comes to love she doesn’t think she deserves it. She can’t understand why Bo would love and want her and I loved how Bo didn’t back down he pursued her and wanted to show her why he did and most importantly that she deserves love like everyone else. He lets her know that he’s the one that’s lucky that she loves him not the other way around. This book is one those that I instantly loved. I felt a connection and those are the ones that will always have my heart. I want everyone to read this and I dare you not to feel something. Do yourself a favor and read Dumplin’ it’s the best thing you could do.


  1. I love how much positive reviews this book is gathering! I read this in the spring and have been in love with it ever since. Willowdean is such a special character for me, mostly because I was (and still am) a "bigger" girl and often found it weird that there were no stories about big girls who are okay with themselves as they are.
    Thanks for the great review! :)

  2. This book is everything. I mean, I really loved EVERYTHING about it and Willowdean is one of my most favorite characters ever!

    Kate @ Ex Libris