Book Review by Aarene Storms: Dumplin'

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Willowdean Dickson isn't what most people would call "beauty pageant material." Certainly Willowdean herself never considered entering her hometown's biggest social event of the year, even though her own mother is a former Clover City Miss Teen Blue Bonnet and is now the chair of the event.

Because Willowdean is fat.

She knows it. It's obvious. She's tried dieting in the past, but is now mostly comfortable with her body ... but not always. And when the hot-hot-hottie guy at work kisses her, the discomfort level goes way up.

It's a long road between "no-way, no-how" and "go big or go home" and yet Willowdean and her friends take the journey towards the coveted rhinestone crown. And although they face some cringeworthy moments, the girls encounter some triumphant times along the way.

This is a book about body image, Dolly Parton, and friendship. There's a romance (and a bit of a romantic triangle), but the focus of the story is on Willowdean's relationship with her longtime best friend Ellen and her new friends Amanda, Millie and Hannah.

And, just so you know: the story doesn't end the way you think it will.

Recommended for readers 14 to adult. All sexual situations are off-stage but the kissing is front and center.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.
--R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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