Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

“I think you gotta be who you want to be until you feel like you are whoever it is you’re trying to become. Sometimes half of doing something is pretending that you can.”

Goodreads Description: 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.

“All the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song.”

I am so excited to share my thoughts on Dumplin’, because I loved this book so much! Trying to find the words to express how much I love this book is going to be a little difficult. Dumplin’ was one of my most anticipated books of that year and it was totally worth the wait. It did not disappoint and I was loving the book so much. Even with my reading slump, I was flying through it when I was reading.

I insta-fell in love with Willowdean and was rooting for her from beginning to end. She was such a cool character and it was heartbreaking watching her slowly lose all the confidence she had. Honestly, this book started to make me question my own confidence. I’ll be real with everyone, I am not completely happy with my own body image and throughout the book I actually found myself thinking about my own self, questioning myself, and in ways realizing how unhappy I really am with certain things about myself. I was going through the motions with Willowdean and I think that’s why I connected so much with her and was rooting for her. I think deep down I was rooting for myself as well.

“Sometimes figuring out who you are means understanding that we are a mosaic of experiences.”

I’ve never read a book by Julie Murphy (I do have her other one (Side Effects May Vary) and plan to read it soon), but this one was so easy to read and written in a way that made you not want to put it down. I had tears in my eyes at times and I was laughing at other times. It was a mix of emotions and it was a great read. There is an awesome cast of characters that also make this book such a great read. The description says “Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.” and she did, this book did. Bo also stole my heart too. 😉

I know this review is totally lacking, but I just can’t form the right words to explain how much I really love this book and I enjoyed it so much. I definitely recommend it. Although I may still lack some confidence when it comes to certain things in my life, reading this book gave me more confidence. You can go out there and do whatever you want to do even if it’s not the “norm”. I think everyone needs a little Dumplin’ in their life, and maybe even some magic eight balls, lollipops, and Dolly Parton songs. “Go big or go home.”

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it?

 I can’t believe it’s Monday already, sigh. I have to get to work, but I hope you all have an awesome Monday and I’ll catch up with you guys later! Bye! ❤