Published by HarperCollins, Balzer + Bray on September 15th 2015
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon
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.
A book with a fat and happy main character? HELLS YEAH I’M READING IT.
Summary in a Second
Willowdean is many things. The thing I think most defines her is her Texas-ness. I was born and raised in New England, and even though I went to college in Virginia, I never quite understood the whole Southern culture. Texas just takes it to another level, and I think that’s probably where Willowdean and I didn’t get along.
Because the rules apply to every situation except your own.
But Mondays and Fridays were just twenty-four-hour stretches of time with different names.
I hate seeing fat girls on TV or in movies, because the only way the world seems to be okay with putting a fat person on camera is if they’re miserable with themselves or if they’re the jolly best friend. Well, I’m neither of those things.
All the Feels
Look. I’m really glad that Willowdean just lives her life, but someone in marketing should have paid less attention to her size non-issue and more attention to the fact that IT’S JUST ANOTHER LOVE TRIANGLE CONTEMPORARY. Urgh. I almost certainly would not have picked it up if it was a story about a Texas beauty queen with a love triangle, so I’m kind of upset I read it. Oops.
About that Ending
Welp. I didn’t finish the book, so I don’t really have anything to say about the ending.
So What’s the Problem?
Seriously, my biggest problem with this book is that it should have been marketed differently.
There were definitely moments where I connected with Willowdean like I expected to, and those moments were AWESOME. You can see a lot of those in my favorite quotes.
Least Favorite Part
The romance. I did not like it. At all. Bo felt icky and I didn’t like him. Also the beauty pageant thing. It just wasn’t something I wanted to read.
Summary in a GIF
Judging a Book by its Cover
LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover. It’s absolutely amazing. Fat main character on the cover? PERFECTION.
Obviously anything and everything Dolly Parton. Come on, guys.
As always, contemporaries are VERY hit or miss for me. This one was a miss.
How do you feel when a book you were really excited for doesn’t live up to the expectation? Do you finish it or do you DNF?
Well Wishes & Candy Fishes,