Hi, guys! Going for a third post of the night. I have been super behind on these, but I promise I will do my best trying to keep up in the following months. It has been and continues to be super busy with school and work so bear with me here! This review is for Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. I had heard a lot about how fabulous this book is and it was even chosen as a book for the September OwlCrate box dubbed Leading Ladies. Intrigued and very trusting of the world of Bookstagram, I picked this up whilst in Chicago on a college tour. (How could I not stop by a book store while visiting? There are so many I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to support locally!!) Anyway, I just finished the last few words in that hilarious, sweet book.
Here’s my version of an overview:
Willowdean Dickson is a fierce fat girl and she doesn’t give a hoot what others think of her. Sure she may be a heavy girl but hey, that doesn’t mean she should not be one single bit proud of who she is. Her mother, former Miss Blue Bonnet in her tiny town of Clover City, is thin and still fits in the dress she won in years ago. Willowdean is compatriots with the wonderful and sassy Ellen Dryver and it seems that nothing could really go wrong. Until Willowdean meets the gorgeous Bo from Holy Cross. They work together at the local fast food restaurant and it seems that maybe Bo may be looking for more than just friends. This turns Will’s life upside down and causes her to question who she really is. Her insecurities rise to the surface and in a defiant act to prove – to whom, she isn’t sure – that she is Willowdean and she is fabulous, she enters the coveted pageant with an unlikely gang to stir up the twiggy so-called perfect images of beauty.
I loved Willowdean. She was hilarious and her insecurities are something that everyone can relate to. Okay that being said, she did frustrate me a little bit at the beginning but she was such a good character overall that I can’t help but root for her. I love that she wasn’t afraid to be who she was and that s=nothing seemed to stop her. But the version of herself that she thought she was turns out to be someone completely different but that’s okay. We must accept our true selves for others to want to accept them too. Her story is funny like Mim’s but not in the same way. In Mim’s story, it’s a bit of a cynical outlook but I like how Willowdean tries so hard to be positive but knows that we can’t always be happy with ourselves. We all look at ourselves in the mirror and what we see is totally different than what others perceive. One of my favorite quotes from the book is about faking confidence. She acknowledges how hard it is to put on that facade and that it’s okay not to fake it. Sometimes asking for help is the best we can do for ourselves.
I also was in love with this cover design, too. It was perfect for what the whole story was about and I loved the back of it even more (I snapped a pic of it and posted it on our Instagram. You can check it out there if you’d like. I love the Dumplin’ pose too. It’s sassy but also very sweet and it fills you with confidence. At least that’s how I feel about it. There’s something to be said for those who work it and can command a room just by walking in. It’s kind of enchanting and whatever they do, they do it with so much confidence that those around them just are enraptured with them.
Anyway, it was a very lovely read from Julie Murphy. I hope to read her first novel Side Effects May Very soon! I need to get my hands on a copy!
Happy reading and enjoy your weekend!