Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Source: BEA 2015
Goodreads: 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.
Ope’s Opinion: In my opinion, this book should be mandatory reading for every middle or high school student. It is a wonderful portrait of how a young lady should look at herself and at others. It also shows how others see us differently then we see ourselves.
Some of the characters are not likeable – welcome to real life in middle and high school. It is good to see how all of this handled.
The ending is perfect because it is not perfect. It is very near to real life.