AUTHOR- Julie Murphy
GOODREADS RATING- 3.88/5
GENRE- Young Adult Contemporary
PUBLISHED- September 15th, 2015
Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we’re all chasing.
ABOUT THE BOOK: 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 REVIEW: Even with the ordinary writing style, some parts truly blowed my mind (because they were so amazingly portrayed) while the others disappointed me as much. This book was a rollercoaster, when you’ll decide to stop reading, something’s gonna come up which will completely engross you for a few chapters and then the cycle will continue. But the only reason I am reviewing this book is because of those moments which really touched my heart and made me continue reading the book and led me to rate it 3.5/5.
“I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.”
So, Willowdean Dickson (nicknamed Dumplin’ by her mother) has been portrayed as a typical fat girl who is very conscious about her body and comparing herself to other girls is something that comes very easily to her. She loved her aunt Lucy, who died sometime ago and still misses her a lot and all that extra support she used to give her. Her aunt, though dead, did play a major role in the book and was somehow seemed to be alive and there all the time. She was well-portrayed. Later on in the book, we also find a typical love triangle-ish relationship between Willowdean, Bo and Mitch. Bo was the guy whom she initially had a crush on. Mitch is more of a side character in Dumplin’s love life and was always liked as a friend by Dumplin whom he really liked (and not as a friend).
So as we start turning the pages, we get to know more about Dumplin’ and her life. She has got some feelings for Bo, but avoids him in the start. Gradually, for a stupid reason, she thinks Bo didn’t tell something important to her (about a stupid thing) and gets sad and stops talking to him as well as change her workplace. She then plans to just take part in the beauty contest just to make a mockery of it after a fight she had with her mother. She is supported by a few other girls (with similar personalities and less appealing physical appearance somehow). But then when she finds out that her best friend, Ellen too plans to take part in the pageant, she bursts open and this leads to a very serious fight between the two friends. This fight was even enlarged by the differences they recently had been facing with Ellen’s new friend choices that Dumplin didn’t like. Later on stuff complicates even more with Bo and her when she starts talking to Mitch, who likes her. She kind of talks to him to take her mind of Bo. But eventually everything sets right, she and Bo get back together, Ellen and she make up again, she has got more friends and the differences between her and her mom end. Happy ending.
Phhhisssss. Now I tell you everything wrong with Dumplin’ :
- Dumplin’s character on one hand, is more about the shy girl who gets embarrassed easily and bodyshams herself. On the other hand, she is always ready to wear a swimsuit and jump in the water.
- I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE FIGHT WITH BO LARSON. It made no sense and seemed as if Willowdean just needed some reason to add some sexual tension in her life irrespective of how stupid that reason could be.
- She participates in the beauty pageant. WHY? Because she needs some drama in her life and prove her mother wrong. Even though the whole book is about that beauty pageant, it came up so suddenly and instantly, that it probably ruined the whole pace of the book. Firstly, nobody who thinks they have a bad appearance, make up their mind so easily to participate in a beauty pageant and complete the more ‘appropriate’ girls for the pageant. And then within some time, she even convinces others to join her too. Millie, who is supposedly fatter than Dumplin’, agrees to participate just as easily. It is so unreal and fake, it led to downfall of this book. I wished there was some better development here. “I grab my Magic 8 Ball from my night stand and give it one good shake. Signs point to yes.”
- The love triangle. It was so unnecessarily dragged into the book. The book could have been much better without it. It seemed as if Dumplin’ just needed somebody to pass her time with after fighting with everyone. Not to mention the fact that she had been a complete bitch to Mitch. And to be honest, this love triangle made exactly 0% sense.
- Dumplin’ is completely changed after the pageant. She is confident of herself and chooses Bo.
- Lastly, why the heck did Mitch not get an ending??? I knew Mitch won’t be the one she will finally choose but why was he so sidelined in the end. Dumplin’ just leaves him and we don’t know what happens with him.
Things I liked about Dumplin’:
- Even with the major disappointments, there were many parts in the book which were very well written and somehow relatable . Like the part in which Ellen meets Bo for the first time and Dumplin’ gets jealous. Also the part where Dumplin’ asks Ellen to not participate in the pageant and they get into the fight. That fight was build up very nicely and seemed very natural to the readers. Then also those parts, when Bo and Dumplin’ used to make out and when his hands touched the flabby parts of her body, she used to turn so insecure. All these parts seemed so real.
- I loved the interview at the last. It was perfect and so appropriate. And especially the part in which she defines loyalty. “Loyalty is being there for someone. It’s selfless. It’s about standing by someone’s side even if you don’t want to. Because you love them. Loyalty isn’t blind. Loyalty is telling someone they’re wrong when no one else will.”
“There’s something about swimsuits that make you think you’ve got to earn the right to wear them. And that’s wrong. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it.”
This book was both amazing and infuriating. But I did like it and won’t say some parts didn’t make me smile, because I’ll be lying then.
(THESE REVIEWS ARE MY POINT OF VIEWS, AND YOUR OPINIONS MIGHT BE VARYING FROM MINE)