Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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.
First Sentence: All the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song.
I received a copy of the book from BEA in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Dumplin’ was one of the books that have obtained a lot of buzz in the book community lately. I wasn’t necessarily interested in Dumplin’ since the synopsis of the book didn’t grab me and contemporaries are mainly a miss for me. However, after hearing about other people read and love Dumplin’, my interest in it grew (this has been happening a lot lately) and I decided to try it for myself, hoping that Dumplin’ would be another contemporary that I’ll enjoy reading.
But that’s me. I’m fat. It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult. At least it’s not when I say it. So I always figure why not get it out of the way? (ARC 9)
Reading Dumplin’ turned out to be one wild ride. Dumplin’ constantly pulled at my emotions – I found myself rolling my eyes at a certain character, mentally growling at another character, and just having tons of feels in general, something I wasn’t expecting to happen with a book about finding self-confidence and beauty pageants.
I also really connected with Willowdean. I understood her and got everything she was doing even though I was never faced with a situation she was dealing with before. I felt for Willowdean, shared her insecurities with her, and understood her reluctance regarding Bo. I was so involved in Willowdean’s life that I didn’t notice anything else that was currently happening around me while I was reading.
“And they want to enter the pageant, too.”
“Is this some kind of ploy for attention? Are you trying to get back at me for something?”
“Oh, are those the questions you ask all the contestants? I didn’t see them on the form.” (ARC 159)
There is no doubt that Dumplin’ is a well-written book. However, it just wasn’t a perfect book for me. I just can’t give Dumplin’ a rating of four or more stars. I wasn’t into the entire book all the time and to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the way a subplot of the book ended. I wanted a deeper talk, more apologizing, and all the feels, but instead, what I got was disappointment.
Overall, Dumplin’ was a pretty enjoyable book – it just wasn’t 100% the book for me. I’m sure plenty of people would enjoy and love reading Dumplin’ more than I did.