Author: Julie Murphy
Overall Rating: 3.5 flames
Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean 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 Teen Blue Bonnet 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.
This book has me so torn. The hype around it has had me excited for it for months and and I even tore through Code Name Verity once it arrived to be able to get to it faster.
I wanted to love it. I expected to love it. In the end… I only liked it and also found myself slightly annoyed which is not the way I thought I would feel.
I will be the first to admit that I looove a good girly story. They are my bread and butter. My BFF Nicole over at Nikolieohlieoh would text me every day as she was reading this and tell me how much she was loving it, so I had quite high hopes.
This is starting to sound like a rant so let me be clear: I did not dislike this book – I liked it, I just did not love it. I would still probably recommend it and I would probably read it again some day. There were parts that made me swoon and there were some likeable characters. But I found Willowdean to be quite annoying (as a lot of teen protagonists are let’s be real) and I honestly did not like her love interest very much. I actually thought there was someone else much better suited for her but I suppose the heart wants what it wants, right Selena?
The synopsis makes you think that the bulk of this story would be about Willowdean’s experience in the pageant but the pageant doesn’t happen until like the last 15 pages. I won’t say much else because I am not a fan of spoilers, but I thought this book just did not live up to the hype around it.
I know I’m probably in the minority here – what did you think? Did you love Dumplin’?