Author: Julie Murphy
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
This is the story of Willowdean Dickson who also goes under the name of Dumplin'. Willowdean is a high school student with a bit too much weight on her thighs. However, that doesn't refrain her from entering a beauty pageant in her hometown in Texas, because apparently Willowdean has enough confidence to do just that!
While this is a somewhat cute story targeted towards young adults about redeeming yourself and facing some truths, I was very underwhelmed by this book. I was expecting a story about a heavy-weighted protagonist who decides to enter a beauty pageant, simply because she has the confidence to do so. While this is somewhat true, I don't think Willowdean comes across as having much confidence at all. She keeps second-guessing herself, and worst of all she's very disrespectful and mean to people. I couldn't help but wonder if that was really her way of being confident - not hesitating from sullying people around her? I regretfully didn't fint any inspiration in Willowdean at any point in this book.
Furthermore, I very much disliked how Julie Murphy threw a "golden line" into the story now and again. By that I mean that she often includes sentences that are supposed to be these philosophies on life and how we're supposed to view ourselves and each other. I prefer to read that myself between the lines and not be reminded of it as often as was the case in this book.
All in all, I did have quite a few problems with this novel which turned out to be quite predictable. As stated in the beginning, I think it is a quite story, but it's also very mediocre, and I honestly didn't like the message that Willowdean's behaviour might send readers of this book.