‘Dumplin’ Deserves To Win A Pageant

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‘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.’


Willowdean was actually a realistic and relatable character. I couldn’t describe her in a few words because she was like any real person. There were times where she was confident and others where she was insecure. She would be sassy and speak her mind but there were also times where she was timid and shy. I think that because she so different with her personality is what made her so relatable and genuine. Even though Willowdean is comfortable with her body she still feels insecure and some parts of it is because of her mom and aunt’s different perspectives of her weight since she was young. I liked Willowdean she was such an enjoyable character and I just really liked reading about her life.

Bo your classic silent boy whose kind of a jerk. In the beginning of the book, he was a little bit of a jerk and he even admits to it but you seem him later regret some of his actions from his past. He had this whole ‘I don’t care’ attitude but you see him start to care more especially towards the end of the book. I liked Bo. You see that there’s a lot more to him than just the silent good-looking boy.


The plot is actually a lot different from what I thought it would be like. It doesn’t start off right away with Willowdean wanting to join the pageant and the thought doesn’t even cross her mind until later on in the book. The beginning is quiet but just like in ‘All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ the beginning you get to know a lot about Willowdean’s life. You see her friends, family and where she works. That’s when her relationship with Bo starts to develop. After Willowdean joined the pageant the plot definitely starts to speed up and that’s when all the drama begins to really skyrocket.
There’s a lot of drama in this book and a lot of it is with Willowdean and her mom. Willowdean’s mom used to have a lot of extra weight and that’s why she tries so hard to get Willowdean in shape. She lives in her past experience of winning a beauty pageant and that’s why when Willowdean wants to join she’s both surprised but a little hesitant because she doesn’t know her intentions. Willowdean’s faces a lot of problems with her best friend Ellen and that really affects her throughout the book.


In ‘Duplin’ what I didn’t really expect was for there to be a love triangle. There’s Mitch who Willowdean relates to on the more body image insecurity. He’s there for her and is really just a sweet gentleman. Then there Bo who she just has this major attraction to and they have major chemistry.

Final Thoughts 

Overall, I rate this book a 5 out of 5. I loved all the characters and the meaning behind this book. The plot was not what I expected but I loved it anyway. ‘Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is the winner of family week! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ve just been reviewed.

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