Saturday, October 6, 2018

Audiobook review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Book Summary
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.

Flo's Review
I cannot wait for this on Netflix! It is going to translate so well to film. I look forward too seeing Willowdean's house with the broken front door, all the people in their Harpy's uniforms, and the insanity of everything around the pageant. 

Dumplin' was one of those books that was a cute and fun read, but also brought deep issues to the forefront in a relatable way. Willowdean is such a great character. Her thought spirals are so real and honest. There's kick-ass in there, but there's also doubt and vulnerability. There's toughness, but also fragility. This reads to me like the thesis statement of the book and is spelled out pretty well toward the end when Willowdean thinks:

Sometimes figuring out who you are means understanding that we are a mosaic of experiences. I'm Dumplin'. And Will and Willowdean. I'm fat. I'm happy. I'm insecure. I'm bold. 

Amanda, Hannah, and Millie were all fantastic secondary characters and I loved watching the friendship build among them. The narrator was also 100% on point. I flew through this audiobook in no time and am looking forward to continuing the journey in Puddin'.

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