Friday, 4 March 2016

Dumplin' by: Julie Murphy

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: September 15,  2015 by: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 375
Rating: 3/5 stars

Willowdean Dickinson has always been comfortable in her own skin. With her best friend Ellen, she has always had the mindset to flaunt what you've got and to not let anything stand in her way. Nicknamed "Dumplin" by her voluptuous beauty queen mom, Willowdean takes a job at the local fast food joint, where she meets, and develops a crush on charismatic Bo. But when Will finds her confidence slowly slipping away, she decides to enter her and a few other unlikely candidates into her mother's infamous beauty pageant, in order to prove to her, and her town, that anyone can be a star.

I was very conflicted with this book. At first I was like: yay! A confidence-boosting book with a kick-ass lead and an extraordinary message. However as the book went on, I thought that the execution could have been better. Some of the language kind of came across as hypocritical and I felt as if the love was kind of predictable.

This book is an extremely positive book. It's not your typical self-esteem contemporary at all, where the main characters usually go through heartbreaking ordeals and nasty bullying. Will was just loving life, she was cool, collected, supportive and proud of who she was. This was a great breath of fresh air and an amazing pick-me-up for anyone who needs a confidence-booster.

I also loved how easy to get through this book was. I wasn't bored, it was refreshing and light with nothing difficult to follow. While complexity can sometimes be a good thing, I think this book would simply be great for anyone trying to get out of a slump.

I didn't enjoy how Will referred to all of the skinny girls as "twiggy" girl. As a naturally skinny girl all my life, I did not enjoy being called a "twig" and it wasn't an amazing confidence-booster on my front. I guess the author was maybe trying to get Will to develop and realize that she shouldn't put down anyone else by the end of the book, but honestly no such development happened. It was a bit of a skinny-shamer.

The love was a love triangle, ugh. Too predictable and cliche for my liking and something that never really ends well. You feel bad for the character who lost, while you secretly know the whole time who she's going to end up with. I do not like love triangles at all.

The overall character of Will was ok. I found her to be extremely judgemental, as well as very rude to her friend Ellen. I felt so bad for Ellen as she was never really at fault in any of their arguments and I don't think that Will realized what she did wrong.

So overall, if you like light, fluffy books, then give this a go! However it wasn't my favourite, and I do think that some things could have been said better.

Have you read Dumplin'? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess


  1. Doesn't really sound like my thing to be honest - although I know a lot of people really like it. I've never been skinny, but I know my sis-in-law used to get some horrible comments - she's naturally small and actually has trouble putting *on* weight. I'm fine with people being skinny if they *are* skinny - if they starve themselves, and/or make people feel bad for *not* feeling skinny, then I get irritated.

    Basically, I think it's important to not act like a jerk, regardless of your size ;)

    1. Totally right! Body shaming is not cool either way. I have been asked if I was anorexic before because I have trouble putting on weight, and I politely shut those people down. JUST BE HAPPY IN YOUR OWN SKIN AND DON'T JUDGE OTHERS!

  2. Yeah, I've actually been avoiding this book. The idea of this book is good, to raise girls' self-confidence, but I'm always wary, because I feel like it will in some way, inadvertently be annoying to me, most likely through the characters, because I'll probably be moaning about how they don't realise that they're alright, and how annoying that is xD But this sounds really different to that, from what you've said!
    I guess the love triangle also deters me though...
    I don't know what to feel anymore, Emily!! xD

    1. I hate it when that happens! Honestly, keep it on the back burner, because it's not a bad book by any means, I think you just have to take some of the content with a grain of salt.

  3. I've been wanting to read this book after seeing it so much in the community, but I'm deciding against it now because of the love triangle. I just can't stand some love triangles that just don't work, you know? I might want to give this a try -- maybe? -- but as of now, it's not my priority! Great review though!

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

    1. I gave it a try because of how much the book community appreciated it. I am glad I did, but I don't think it's a priority.