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.
I finally finished it! I have literally been reading this book for the last month and I just could not get into it. Then the other day I started reading it again and it was going alright but then it just sort of plateaued and ever since it has been a struggle to finish it. But I did it, praise the lord.
So if you hadn’t already guessed, I didn’t particularly like this book. And to be honest, it's not something I would have picked up for myself, but I thought I'd give it a go since it was a review book. It started off alright. I liked the idea of the plot line and the fact that the story isn’t about the usual "ideal perfect girl" but I feel like this could have been done a lot better.
First off, I didn’t like the character Willowdean at all. I found her to be extremely selfish, especially when it came to her friends. There was a part in the book where she decides to join the beauty pageant and her best friend Ellie decides to join as well and Willowdean chucks a fit because her friend has an actual chance of winning. I don’t know but I just thought that was extremely selfish and just downright rude. Needless to say, her friend wasn’t impressed either. The other characters in this book didn’t really do much for me either. I mean, I didn’t, not like them but I just didn’t care for any of them.
I found the plot to be very boring. I literally just finished the book and I wouldn’t even know how to explain what it was about. There weren’t many plot points that stood out to me either. I liked the idea of this book, but on paper it just didn’t work out. I really disliked the idea of the beauty pageant as well, it just didn’t seem realistic and for a contemporary I kind of count on the story being realistic. There was a good message to take from this though, and that is to just be yourself, accept yourself for who you are and all that jazz.
“I’m Dumplin’. And Will and Willowdean. I’m fat. I’m happy. I’m insecure. I’m bold”.
The one thing I did really like about this book was how funny it was. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this. The characters (even though I didn’t like them), were really funny. Especially Willowdean, she was just so sarcastic I couldn’t help but laugh. I actually tabbed the parts that made me laugh and there are quite a few.
Even though I didn’t like this book, I can definitely see why some people would enjoy it. So if you think you’re one of those people take this review with a grain of salt because I’m definitely no expert. Also, if you’re a fan of Julie Murphy’s other book Side Effects May Vary, (which I also didn’t like at all) then you will most likely enjoy Dumplin’ :)
Format: ARC (Advanced Readers Copy), 376 pages
Acquired from: Penguin Teen Australia
Available from: 16th September 2015
*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
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