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Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - Review

Monday, May 2, 2016

Where did I get it? My friend Janet lent it to me.  
What's it about? Willowdean is a fat teenager living in a small city in Texas. Her mum is a former winner of the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant, and is still heavily involved with the pageant, which Will has no interest in. Will's aunt Lucy, who was basically her second parent, has recently died and Will is finding it hard to negotiate her relationship with her mum without Lucy there. Will works at a fast food restaurant where she meets Bo, and the two start making out after work has finished, although Will freaks out every time Bo touches her because she feels self-conscious about him feeling her body. 
Meanwhile, Will's relationship with her best friend Ellen is degenerating, and they eventually have a huge falling out. Will makes friends with some other outcast types, and together they decide to enter the pageant, even though they're not the typical beauty queen types. 
What age range is it for? 14+
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Kind of. I don't want to spoil anything!
Are any main characters non-white? Yes, it's not mentioned much though. 
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, it's very sensitively done. 
Is there any sex stuff? Not really
Are drugs mentioned or used? No
Is there any talk of death? Yes, but it's very vague and not at all upsetting.  
Are there swear words? Only a couple. I think I should give a trigger warning for some fat shaming language though. Take care of yourself. 
Would I recommend the book? Yes. I was a fat teenager myself (and am a fat adult) and parts of this hit really close to home, like the page I've taken a photo of. I felt like the middle dragged a bit, but I did enjoy it. Willowdean is a really likeable main character, and the other characters are all perfectly flawed too. 
How many stars? Seven out of ten.  
Where is the book going now? Back to Janet, she's lending it to someone else! 

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