Mundie Moms

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy / Book Review

By: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Add it to:  Dumplin'
Source: Purchased
Buy: amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Rating: 5 BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL STARS -- I loved the story!

Synopsis: 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.

I am so glad that Julie Murphy wrote DUMPLIN'. Willowdean is just the type of character I adore. She is feisty and determined, but not without some reserve and moments of worry.

This story is simply everything. I usually go on and on about how much I love stories with families (and this is not the usual YA trope with absentee parents). DUMPLIN' gives us a complex relationship between Willowdean and her mother, the former beauty pageant queen who lost all her weight before she entered the pageant. You would think that this part of their relationship in itself was enough tension, but Julie also brings in Aunt Lucy, the older sister who died from a heart attack brought on by her weight. See what I mean? Tension for days.

As if that wasn't enough, Willowdean and her best friend are also growing apart. These things happen in the best of friendships, but especially when the thinner best friend finds a boyfriend and works in one of those cute boutique stores which cater to the latest fashions in the smallest of sizes. Once again, Julie complicates things beautifully and realistically.

But don't feel sorry for Wilowdean, she is one feet-firmly-on-the-ground character who turns quite a few heads when she signs up for the pageant. Whose heads exactly? Well, her mother's and the judges' for one, but also there's the matter of two boys. Let me pause for a second, because I know there are Love Triangle Haters out there. This is not your average triangle though. This triangle makes sense and reminds us how the right person is out there for each one of us although we may not acknowledge that right away.

DUMPLIN' is about a big, bold, beautiful girl who finds herself in the midst of pageant hoopla, her mom's misplaced determination and her friend's waning friendship. I'm looking forward to my daughters reading this story when they are ready. They've got to meet WIllowdean. In fact, the world needs to meet her now.

(Aside: Disney has optioned this for a movie, and I am so very glad that we may get to see it on the big screen.)

Recent Book News

Happy Weekend book readers! There was a lot of exciting book news that was shared this week. Epic Reads spoiled readers this last week by sharing covers for their upcoming releases! Check out these two covers featured above, and be sure to click on the links for some of their cover reveal tweets below, to check out more of their cover reveals. There was more books news than just cover reveals. Keep reading to find out more. 

Cover Reveals

I am incredibly happy about this cover, as it's for a friend of mine, Michelle Andrea's book! She and Mindi Scott co-wrote it, and you can add it to your TBR lists here

There is a lot more book news. Keep reading to read excerpts, check out recent book deals & more!