Dumplin' Book Review
Willowdean, or as her mother likes to call her "Dumplin'" is a self-proclaimed "fat" girl who loves herself and oozes confidence. She is a happy and proud of the body she was born into. Willow falls for a boy named Bo who likes her as well but makes her second guess her confidence. It is nothing that he does. She just doesn't believe she deserves someone like him- handsome, skinny, private school boy with a scholarship for basketball. All of the signs point to no for her. Slowly her confidence crumbles after her summer fling with him. To gain it back, Wil decides to enter the most popular beauty pageant in Texas to show people that she is beautiful no matter her size. The writing style of this book is great, in my opinion. Julie Murphy appeals to teens in a way that some YA authors don't. There is some strong language in the book that I would warn some teens about if they are against that, but it isn't unbearable. The language is very Texas style and witty. Well, it is what I image Texas style would be like(:
Willowdean is an extremely relatable character to me. So realistic and powerful. Honestly, I found myself wishing I could be more like her, with all her wit and sassy remarks. I wish she didn't second guess her confidence with Bo, especially since he was telling her that she was beautiful. But I get why she did. I'm not a size two girl. I'm size 16 in pants, 18-20W in some dresses, XL shirts and leggings. I'm not a small girl. Sometimes I hate looking at myself in the mirror. When I'm showering I cant even look down at my stomach without feeling like I need to go on some extreme diet. I wish I could be like Wil, accepting of my skin.
Now, the reason why I only gave the book 4 stars, but really around 3.7, is because the decision to join the beauty pageant doesn't happen until the middle of the book. By the end it feels like it was just thrown in there and rushed through the last 3-4 chapters. Not a fan of that at all. I wanted to see her on that stage, not feel rushed. I wanted to read about her experience, what it felt like on that stage. Instead we get "she walked out onto the stage, and came back.". Nothing about how the audience made her feel when she first stepped out there. Or how she felt during the swim suit portion of the pageant.
I really like that the book, instead of focusing on romance (which is does have), focuses more on a girl helping herself and her friends accept the body/ skin they were born into. Flaws and all. It made me feel more comfortable with myself. She is kind of like a hero to me.