I fell in love with Dumplin’ (Julie Murphy). The book centres on Willowdean, aka Will, who faces a self-esteem crisis and to prove her worth and as a person, a girl of “unconventional” appearance, she joins her town’s annual beauty pageant.
A lot of heartbreak, tears and feels, Dumplin’ explores body image and self-worth on a deep level, even resentment towards the skinny type – it definitely resonated with me since I was preoccupied with how I look and have never exactly been thin since I was a kid. Dumplin’ embraces all body types and tells that you can be anything regardless of appearance.
The book is also well-written with so many sentences that would make you laugh. It’s also raw and genuine – no hint of a teen character speaking like an adult. The characters are great but I wish their backgrounds were explored and more scenes with them. One downside is that the climax was abrupt. I wanted Will to be in the moment, savouring the moment rather than just telling me what happened. The building up to the pageant would’ve paid off more.
Overall, Dumplin’ is a book that you’ll cherish.