This book is being promoted as a go to for fans of John Green (check!) and Rainbow Rowell (check check!) plus it’s about an overweight teen, to which I can relate, so I decided to give it a go. I don’t read a lot of young adult literature, but do enjoy some from time to time. Like romances or women’s fiction, I find these types of books cleansing between the serial killers, thrillers and deep, dark psychological suspense that seems to make up most of my reading. And Dumplin’ was enjoyable.
The story centers around Willowdean, a high school senior with a weight problem, only she claims it’s not her problem but everyone else’s. Willowdean thinks she is comfortable with her body, but her reaction to being touched by a boyfriend proves otherwise.
Her family history is interesting. Her mother is a former beauty queen who still runs the town pageant – did I mention this is set in Texas? She recently lost her beloved aunt, who weighed 400+ pounds and dropped dead of a heart attack. No father in the picture either.
Willowdean has a best friend El, but when Willowdean decides to enter the beauty pageant, El does too which causes a rift between the girls. Themes of bullying and first love are typical of young adult reads and this is no exception. Mean girls aplenty here but it’s the underdogs the rule the day.
10/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy. Balzer + Bray (September 15, 2015). ISBN 978-0062327185. 384p.