REVIEW: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Title: Dumplin'
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: Sepember 15th 2015
Part of A Series?: No - Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins International

Blurb Description: 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.


If you’re fat, it’s probably the trump card people use against you. You can’t do things that everyone else is supposed to do because you’re big built, or you actually like eating greasy fries. Maybe people can’t imagine you having a boyfriend and say it right to your face. Maybe your mother gives you the disappointed look every time you eat a cookie. Maybe you can’t say that someone wearing pink pants and a neon green top looks ridiculous because other people are judging you because they think you do. Look ridiculous, that is.

“If I avert my eyes from all the kissing people ever, I’m positive that my life would be at least 2% more fulfilling.”

Willowdean Dickinson would introduce herself to you as a Dolly Parton enthusiast and the resident fat girl. She lives in a tiny town known only for one thing – the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant. She has one friend, she has a crush on a guy who loves red suckers and is so gorgeous she probably never stands a chance with him. She’s a lot of things, but all of them don’t matter because society at large only sees her as the fat kid. And she’s never cared.

And then the guy who she likes kisses her over the summer, her best friend has sex, and everything changes.

Because for the first time in her life, she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. Because the thought of him touching her love handles and seeing her exposed like that while he sits there with his gorgeous everything makes her feel like she’s too big; like she’s not enough.

And she hates it.

And this book is about a fat girl’s journey getting back in touch with herself.

Now, being a fat girl, I should say that I know what it feels like; what it all feels like. Sitting in the backseat of a car with three other skinny people, and you can just feel the fat on your body. Feeling like the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Feeling like there’s no way someone like him would ever go for someone like you. Thinking that all the flab around your torso is stopping you from being the best version of yourself, and even just hiding under the fat and not doing the things you want to do or wearing the things you want to wear.

But to Willow, all of this was a “So? Why can’t I?” and I kept wondering why I couldn’t be like her. I kept wondering why just because I’m big, it means I can’t have the life I want to. Why can’t I get up on stage dressed like Dolly Parton (not that I like her, but…) and sing and enter a pageant contest or things like that. Why? Why stop myself?

And I don’t have an answer. Maybe I never will.

All I can say is that this book is inspirational. This book is a guide you should be giving your daughters and sons instead of giving them body image issues. This book should be what you look up to, not Victoria’s Secret Angels on the runway. And it should be okay to not be skinny, or small, or a size two. Maybe we don’t always have to be on a diet, and it shouldn’t be creepy for girls to eat in public alone, and maybe people need to stop telling us that if we just lost a little weight, the world would be a better place for us.

And you should be reading it – fat or thin. Tall or short. Indian or American. This should be your next read.  


1 comment:

  1. Aw great post. I'm so glad that this book has been inspirational for many people! I'm also overweight and it definitely can be frustrating sometimes. But I also know I have, I along with everyone else, have worth and try my best to let that drive me. I hope to be able to read this book one day because it has received so much love! :) Great review!