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Pumpkin by Julie Murphy - Review

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Where did I get it? I had it on pre-order so it arrived in June and I picked it up shortly after. 

What's it about? It's the third in the series set in Clover City, the same as Dumplin' and Puddin'. It's about Waylon Brewer, who is tall, fat, ginger, gay, and quite femme leaning. He knows of both Willowdean and Millie, but he's not friends with them. His only friends are really his twin sister, Clem, and her girlfriend, Hannah, even though he often feels like the third wheel with them. He's not in the LGBTQ+ club, Prism, at school, partly because of a feud he has going on with the leader, Kyle. He also always wears polo shirts and khaki shorts, because he doesn't want to be bullied any more than he already is, but he has a wardrobe full of stuff that he will wear when school finishes and he and Clem move to Austin and his life will begin. 

He's a big fan of a drag race show, but in the final his favourite doesn't win. He then discovers that Clem is applying to go to the University of Georgia, several states away, and without Waylon. Upset, he drags himself up and applies some make up, and does a faux application video for the drag race show. Clem sees it, and shares it with Kyle, who then - supposedly by accident - shares it to his Facebook profile. Waylon goes viral within the school and feels absolutely horrible about it. 

He then gets nominated for prom queen, at the same time as Hannah gets nominated as prom king. Hannah decides to go for it, and with her encouragement Waylon decides to stay in the competition. He's paired with Tucker to complete a few tasks for the nomination. Tucker is on Waylon's shit list - to be fair, most people are - but the two get close. Waylon is sure that Tucker is straight, but is he?

Waylon, due to being bullied, usually keeps himself to himself, and refuses to believe there's any kind of queer community in Clover City, or that there's people who would want to be friends with him. I like how he lets down his walls throughout the book. He visits the Hideaway - the drag club that is mentioned in at leasy one of the other books. I loved the ending!

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yep, both Waylon and Clem are gay. There's plenty of other queer kids around, as I say. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, Hannah is a person of colour, but I'm really sorry and can't remember where her family is from. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? No 

Are there swear words? A few but not many. 


What criticisms do I have? I found the beginning of the book a little bit slow, but it picks up quickly. 

My main criticism is a continuity error which really annoyed me. It's not really the writer's fault, but it is something that a copy editor should have picked up. It's about Hannah's grandma, who she lives with. Waylon says he's never met her, then shortly after, he meets her. Then a few pages later he says he hasn't met her and asks Hannah what she's like. Then half the book later he says he's met her once or twice. Make your mind up! It annoyed me, I'm sorry

Would I recommend the book? Yes, so much 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I was desperate to read the third in the series! 


What do I think of the cover? It's really cute and matches the other two so perfectly. 


What other books is it like? The other ones!

How many stars? Four out of five. 


Where is the book going now? Oh I'll keep it for definite!

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