Wednesday, February 3, 2016

YA Pick: Dumplin'

by Julie Murphy
Balzer + Bray
371 pages
ISBN: 9780062327185
Advance Praise for DUMPLIN':

“I’m obsessed with this book. Wickedly funny, heartbreakingly real, full of characters to love and cheer for.Dumplin’ is such a star.”
—Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love and 99 Days

Dumplin’ should be required reading for anyone who has ever felt even slightly uncomfortable in his or her skin. Julie Murphy’s star continues to shine with this groundbreaking, poignant story that will surely change lives.”
—John Corey Whaley, award-winning author of Noggin and Where Things Come Back

My Review:

Intelligent, witty, and beautiful, Dumplin' is testament to the strength of one tough Texas teen who won't be written off. She won't listen to haters. She won't let people shame her or shut her down. She won't let her mothers constant digs get her down. Using her moxie, Willowdean shows the town of Clover City that she is a teen tour-de-force to be reckoned with. Willowdean's mom is the Bluebonnet Pageant director and an ex-crown holder herself. In fact, her whole life has been a let down compared to winning that darned crown. It is literally her crowning achievement. She wishes her daughter would diet, so that she can be the beauty queen. She wants her daughter to be willowy and beautiful like she was in her youth. Instead of celebrating the smart, sassy and sweet daughter that she has, she longs for the outer shell--the shell that society is so enthralled with.

Willowdean has been crushing on hunky athlete Bo who just so happens is her co-worker at the burger joint. When he begins flirting with her, Will is surprised. Pleasantly so. They share a few sweet kisses and soon they seem to be in a "relationship."

Willow decides to make a point. Even though she is not considered "beautiful" due to her weight, she is going to enter the Miss Bluebonnet Pageant to make a point--fat is beautiful. Will triumphs against all odds and proves her point to her mother, to the audience and most importantly, to herself.

I loved the positive statements in Willow's personality. She owns herself, fat and all. As Willow puts it, "That cute, little fat girl is a beauty queen."

Beauty queens everywhere will love this book, fat girls will love this book, anyone who ever looked at a body part and hated it will love this book, Anyone who loves Texas, Dolly Parton, country music, bluebonnets, pageants, little towns, greasy burger joints, and pick-ups will love this book.Texans will love this book, heck, everyone will love this book.

Recommended grade 8 and up. Kissing, talk about "doing it," talk about virginity, profanity no worse than on primetime television, talk of beer money.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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