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.
Yessss! Finally a book that is body positive, sex positive and doesn't dump on anyone's views at all. This is what I have been looking for all these years! Dumplin' is literally a book that I have spent years dreaming of and every time I thought I had found it, it goes and ruins it for me. A book which is about accepting yourself for who you are and not changing for anyone but yourself, but also portrays the MC as a real person, who has real emotions and comes to accept herself. A book which has a larger protagonist accepting that big is beautiful, but also that skinny is beautiful too, and that the most beautiful thing a girl can be is confident. A book which is sex positive, that says that if you feel ready for it, go for it, but also that it isn't something that should just be taken lightly.
Dumplin' is a brilliant book. It's sassy, it's sweet, it's sexy and it gave me all the feels. Julie Murphy writes a fantastic character in Willowdean - she is utterly relateable and also isn't the most perfect human in the world. It has backing characters that are great and romantic moments that had me ee'ing as I read them.
However there were some parts of this book that I felt let down by - mainly the Mitch part, because he is a perfectly decent human being but WIlllow just leads him on ad uses him as her fall back bae - I try to tell myself that this just represents Willow as a real human as capable at making stupid decisions as the rest of us, but I can't buy into that. It just annoyed me that a book so concerned by putting forward good messages sends forth this message that girls can just use boys however they like.- imagine the reaction as the dynamic been the same with genders reversed!
That being said, I did massively enjoy Dumplin' - I think every female young or old, big or small should read this book. I know it made me feel this surge of confidence simply by reading and I think it would do the same for all women. A brilliant book by an amazing author.
Overall Rating: A
Book released 15th September 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Book received for review for the author/publisher