Dumplin' by Julie MurphyDumplin' by Julie Murphy


byJulie Murphy

Hardcover | September 15, 2015

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Soon to be a Netflix film—featuring Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, and Dove Cameron, as well as a soundtrack from Dolly Parton!

The #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year—about Willowdean Dixon, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant.

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 girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray animals, Julie can be found in a library smelling old books and manning the reference desk.
Title:Dumplin'Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.21 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062327186

ISBN - 13:9780062327185


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner! Beware spoilers ahead! Updated thoughts: Dumplin' was read for The Dream Thieves: Badass Broads. I'm going to be frank I literally only reread this because of the movie. If it hadn't been for the movie, I wouldn't have bothered with this book. Over the last three years I've forgotten so much. To the point where I confused character names and their personalities. Upon my reread I'm actually surprised that I was even able to finish this! Willowdean annoyed me so much. And wow her thoughts were so cringey! For someone who preached body positivity she went against her word so many times! Anyways moving on. So I had many problems with this. I didn't feel that Willowdean's character development was well done. Let alone any of the other characters. The romance was also very cringey. And I didn't see the point of the love triangle. Most of the characters while having real struggles felt two dimensional. I wish we got to know more about their backstories. Would've helped to flesh them out. Onto the things I liked! The beauty pageant was still as entertaining as I remembered. Their girl's friendship was nice. I really liked Mitch. And how some of the topics that were discussed resonated with me. I would've loved to read about Aunt Lucy. I did like the girl power. And despite my issues with these characters I found them to be strong. I'm just so conflicted because there were a lot of good messages! But I never felt that they were done right. Mentioned and just brushed aside. Maybe that's the whole point. I still wanted more. And would've loved to follow other characters aside from Willowdean. Overall I enjoyed some parts and thoroughly disliked others. Regardless I still think it's worth the read. Original review: This was recommended by Tash! When I had first read Tash's review I knew that I must read it! I was excepting to love every bit of it and enjoy the story. While I did not love it I did thoroughly enjoy reading it. Willowdean (more often referred to as Will) is one of the fat girls in her town. She has no problem with this and does not consider calling herself fat an insult. Every year her mother and a few others host a beauty pageant. Her mother is a former winner and still fits into the dress she wore when she won. The book starts off during summer right before Will and her best friend Ellen are supposed to go to grade 11. Will works at Harpy's a fast food restaurant. It is revealed that Will has had a crush on Bo her co-worker for some time. Bo doesn't really talk a lot he keeps to himself so it's hard to see whether he likes any of his co-workers in any way. One day as Will is taking the trash out she runs into Bo and he kisses her. Surprised she walks away. He sees her again and apologizes for randomly kissing her and claims that he has some personal stuff going on therefore it would be best not to date anyone. While she isn't happy to hear this she doesn't protest. The next day however he kisses her again. They have a secret relationship for 2 months. No one knows about their relationship and they keep it that way. At that point I was ready to stop reading because the relationship between the two of them was odd and didn't really make sense. But because I bought it and hoping it would get better I read on. I am pretty happy that I did that as it did turn out to be a good story. School is right around the corner so Will assumes that whatever she and Bo have will do done and over with soon. While dropping Ellen to get her payroll she runs into Bo and his family. His stepmother reveals that Bo will start going to Will's school. Will is shocked that she never heard this from Bo. And she can't imagine going to school with him as well as working together. Things aren't so great with her relationship with her mother or Ellen. She feels that her and Ellen are drifting apart mostly because of Ellen's co-worker and new friend Callie who pities Will for being fat. Her aunt passed away recently so it's been hard on both her mother and her. Will felt that her aunt understood her in a way her mother never does. Her aunt and her bonded over some of the silly things her mother said. Her mother is not happy about Will being fat and she tries to subtly push her into losing weight. She does this because she thinks her Will is going to be happier if she loses weight. Now with school beginning the pageant is also right around the corner. Which Will is not at all excited about. She hates the pageant and everything it stands for. After seeing Bo in her history class she decides to quit her job and apply for another one. In a way of moving on from Bo she agrees to go on a date with Mitch who is in her english class. When this fails she enters the pageant. Her entering the pageant inspires 3 other girls to enter with her. This is probably one of the most inspiring books I have ever read! I loved that Will decided to enter the pageant for her aunt and herself. I would have liked to read more about the pageant. I felt that some points in the book the story really dragged. I really did not like how some of the characters tried to shove it down Will's throat that if she lost weight she would be happy. While a lot of people are pretty happy when they lose weight that does not mean that they weren't happy before. This is the case with me. I couldn't really see Will working out with Bo nor Mitch. I was also impressed by the fact that Will did not feel the need to lose weight for the pageant. It was really sweet to read about the other girls entering with her. The friendship was awesome! As well as how complex the characters were and the journey all the girls took with the pageant. I liked how Will repaired her relationship with Ellen and her mother. I was not excepting the book to end the way it did. Kudos to the author for doing something unexpected. Overall this was a really good book! I recommend it to fans of contemporary, Dolly Parton, and anyone looking for an inspiring/empowering book.
Date published: 2018-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dumplin' (Dumplin' #1) by Julie Murphy The thing about Dumplin' is that it contains a great message. Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson is fat - and no, that is NOT an insult to her. She deals with other people's judgey eyes but, for the most part, she doesn't care. She's happy with who she is and other people can go screw themselves if they think differently. Our leading lady has an ex-beauty queen mother, her best friend Ellen, and an addiction to all things Dolly Parton. She’s in high school and has just recently started working at Harpy’s, a local fast food joint. It’s there that she meets Bo. Bo used to be a jock and is someone Will is attracted to. She’s shocked when she finds out he likes her too. It's not a smooth-clean-nice romance, and I GET THAT. It's realistic! When society views you as looking "wrong" (like Willowdean is "fat") then you're going to be plagued by anxieties. But I felt Willowdean was just a bit pathetic about this. And deluded?! Like, she wallows in thinking now one is ever going to love her -- but she basically has two dudes by the end. I MEAN, COME ON. REALLY??? I always feel weird about triangle-type relationships, because one side is always leading someone on and that's unfair and cruel. BUT ANYWAY. So Willowdean meets Bo (which is an adorable name, and reminds me of Po from Graceling, whom I also adore) at work and they have a tentative summery fling. THEN THEY BREAK UP TRAGICALLY. Why? That is an excellent question, my friends. I have no idea. I don't understand what went wrong between them. And I was focusing! I feel like it was equal parts of fault...Bo wasn't communicating the boundaries of their relationship (like would they continue or break up after summer?) and Willowdean was so OBSESSED with the fact that she was unwantable, that she made herself be unwantable by walking away. The friendships in this book were super solid, even through the ups and downs, and it was so great to see so much female friendship.This story has an element of romance, which I loved, but that’s not what the story was about. It was, more than anything, a story of acceptance and self discovery. I could feel all of Will’s insecurities as if they were my own. I loved watching her grown and triumph. I know the book isn't supposed to focus on her weight, but I found it a little less relatable than i'd like because it failed to give descriptions of her size. There are so many parts in this story that were relatable to me. I adored our heroine, Ms. Willowdean Dixon. This is an extremely body-positive book, which is a great thing. It's very much about breaking down stereotypes, learning not to judge, and learning to love yourself.
Date published: 2018-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Liked! I really liked this book! This novel really had everything going for it! I loved the main character of Willowdean along with all of the surrounding characters. I found each of them charismatic, humorous and relatable each in their own way. As well, I loved the overall premise of the story. It read like a coming of age story but at the same time relatable to those of all ages. I mean, how many of us are not fully comfortable with who we are all of the time? It can't just be me. The romance in this novel was also a favourite of mine but at the same time, I respected that it wasn't the main focus of the novel. This novel was about Willowdean and her self-discovery, the romance was an aspect of that. Definitely an enjoyable and relatable novel for readers of any age. As much as I think this would be an important read for those struggling in high school, I think this is an important novel for those with similar struggles at any age. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the sequel and more written from this author!
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good Although I hoped it would be better
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This was such an incredible book about personal journeys, loving yourself, and so many wonderful friendships that my heart just about burst. A sweet and hilarious book.
Date published: 2017-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dumplin The adoration of Dolly Parton, non-pageanty pageant girls, mother/daughter struggles, first love found behind the fast-food counter, a bigger heroine who doesn’t get a makeover, I just enjoyed every little thing about this book. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read A great little empowering story of a Texas high school fat girl with plans of entering the local beauty pageant. The writing was so easy that I just gobbled this book up
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Is light, hilarious, real and true! Dumplin' was one of the most anticipated novels of the year for me. Yes, I've read books about people who are labelled as "fat" and are struggling with their body images and all of that. But from the start when I saw this gorgeous, but simple cover ages ago, I realized that this one would be different. Even if you've never had a low self-esteem in yourself or never felt unconfident before, which I seriously praise you for, there is something that everyone could find appealing in Julie Murphy's newest pretty. I just really feel connected to this book and it is seriously magnificent. "But that's me. I'm fat. It's not a cuss word. It's not an insult. At least it's not when I say it. So I always figure why not get it out of the way?" (9) Look at this: it was the ninth page and our heroine, Willowdean, already had her message going out. I seriously like this idea and how Murphy made her point from the beginning of the book. With these kinds of things, there doesn't have to be some kind of build-up to the moment where the main character should burst into tears and cry for the rest of her life. It is natural, and the book was more real than ever and just wasn't focused on the moment where Willowdean realized that she is great the way she is, you know? The messages and themes behind this book are riveting, and for everyone, to give them a little sense of what it's like to read a sassy, fun novel that is not just for the words, but for the feelings. It's a simple concept, really. Willowdean Dickson, also known as Dumplin' by her beauty queen mother, is proud of who she is. She wants to join a beauty pageant, fall in love with cute boys who admire her for who she is, and her story is very electrifying and moving, making you understand that we are all equal and beautiful the way we are. You see, I usually don't like to take in this bullsh**. I don't. I don't like to pretend that we're all beautiful in every way and our physical selves don't matter, blah blah blah because reality and society today doesn't work like that. Humanity is judgmental. You walk down the street and pass three people—you'll have three distinct opinions on those people and how they look or what they are wearing/doing. It's natural. But then here again, we are reading through the perspective of a teenage girl who seems to be so much more clever than many humans are today on the street. Willowdean is kick-ass, and I love her attitude. Again, I usually don't like to take this stuff in because somehow I know that it won't matter in the real world since some people don't even care about these "promotions" that beauty is bringing out, but I do care about this and Murphy's writing satisfied the fact that we teenagers are young, and we shouldn't care about looks but more about personality. I'm a perpetrator of that too, and we all are. Society cares too much about certain things—that's how life goes. "For the first time in my life, I feel tiny. I feel small. And not in the shrinking flower kind of way. This feeling: it empowers me." (69) You see, if we compare the two quotes that I have added into this review, you could see that Willowdean's behaviour has drastically changed. We are opinionated, but we are also beautiful. The plot that Murphy made was riveting, as we went through a stereotypical life of someone who supposedly eats a lot and gains weight—Willowdean works in a fast food restaurant. But here's the catch: she doesn't eat the food, as she specifically noted through her perspective that people assume that she does. This book defuses the stereotypes and makes its own magic of what it's like to feel beautiful—and our minds can only perceive this and make it actually happen. Willowdean, as well as the love interest, Bo, are amazing characters. They fit each other so well, and I love how their relationship throws away the stereotypes that we know today in fiction. Yes, I'm telling you that there isn't some kind of instant romance. In fact, it's a love-hate relationship and Bo's not a bad boy. So you could check the fact off your list that the romance is fabulous. What else, alongside everything else I've mentioned above, could you possibly ask for? FEELS ARE REAL, TOO.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cheeky! Fun, fast, and a little cheeky! I loved reading about Willowdean Dickson and her struggle with confidence and societal pressure. The writing is funny, the characters are fairly interesting, and you get to read about the South - sort of! Her struggle to tell her friends and other people how she feels feels really realistic because as a reader, you start to understand why she struggles with a lot of who she is and how she looks. I picked up the book even though I knew I didn't have the same life struggles, but I really liked the concept of reaching a point where you are comfortable in your own skin. She doesn't always make the right decisions, but who ever does? “There’s something about swimsuits that make you think you’ve got to earn the right to wear them. And that’s wrong. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it.”
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely A Win! Dumplin was a hysterical, but heart warming novel, and I definitely think Julie Murphy is amazing for bringing to light many of the insecurities facing teenage girls everyday. This was a delightful read, and is definitely a win win in my eyes.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was Good I thought it was very cute but I found the characters actions confusing in some parts. Also, there were some parts too awkward for me to fully understand what was happening. I did enjoy the premise and halfway through I enjoyed reading it. LOVED THE ENDING.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Super cute! Well that was cute. The beginning didn't fully pull me in but I was hooked by the middle. Caught myself laughing out loud a few times at Will's mishaps or witty thoughts. Loved the Dolly Parton incorporation into everything. Quick and easy fun read.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable, bright and vibrant Being a festively plump individual, read fat- I am always weary when a novel features an equally festive heroine/character, as more often that not, said character is played for pity and without power. Dumplin is not one of those novels. It is engaging, empowering and thoroughly enjoyable. Our lead, Willowdean, is no down in the dumps individual, she shares the same insecurities as the rest of us and learns to empower herself through whom and what she is. If you are looking for a fun, empowering read, this is for you.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dumplin' I really liked this book. It is cleverly written from the perspective of someone who isn't a perfect teen girl with flowing hair and a million boys throwing themselves all over her who does see life as more than a field of daisies (sometimes, though, I can be overly critical). It's a nice change from many other YA novels. I like the growth and development of several relationships, not just one.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Reviews from Book Nerd Canada I went into Dumplin' thinking it was going to give me this cute romance with a character who didn't care about her weight. Where she develops an iron heart from all the bullies and then needs a boy's life to unravel it all. That's obviously me just sprouting out wishful plot devices but what I got, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Willow is very judgmental about other girls and the comments she would say about others really bothered me. I thought she could take the high ground and not let anything or anyone get in her way and she does that. But she does it in a way where she steamrolls the people that she loves. Namely her mother, best friend and love interest. I couldn't understand it. She was always mad at everyone! And she would try to justify it so she would always be in the right. I was hoping for her to grow and mature by the end, but I wasn't feeling it. I like how the main focus wasn't on the romance. There was a lot of important relationships that included her mother and her best friend that I was interested in reading about. I just felt like Willow was always just mad at everyone and she was blaming them all instead of changing her viewpoint. Maybe that was the entire goal though? If it was I missed it. There's a lot of empowerment about being true to yourself and do things that you normally wouldn't do, but in the end, I just didn't really care about her because she rubbed me the wrong way. Overall, I would still recommend this to people looking for a good read. In my opinion, I wasn't too keen on the main character but that could always change for others. Wonderful developed character relationships form an intriguing read, but all other parts felt flat for me.
Date published: 2015-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from INDIGO STAFF PICKS says you need to be reading this..... If you are looking for a strong female heroine, then look no further then Willowdean Dickson. She is all that and a bag of chips or should I say red candy suckers. We can all take a page out of Willowdean’s body playbook. Bikini Body, well you have a body so put a bikini on it…voila …. The ideal bikini body curves and all. If only we could all feel so comfortable I our skin. It isn’t until she begins to date heartthrob Bo does she begin to see herself through a less then flattering filter. What’s a curvy girl to do…Enter the Teen Miss Blue Bonnet pageant of course. Now add in a Dolly Parton soundtrack and you have yourself an amazing read. Do yourself and your inner Willowdean a favour and read this book. I did and enjoyed every minute of it.
Date published: 2015-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Indigo Staff Pick Dolly Parton enthusiast Willowdean Dickson or Dumplin’ as her mom calls her – is about to shake things up by entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant. Willow has curves and she’s okay with that. But after she starts dating Bo the boy of her dreams, she starts to feel insecure about her appearance, and what others think of them together – her former Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Queen mother included. Now Willowdean is out to make a point that she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is. This book is such a cute and endearing read! I really liked Willowdean’s character, she was so easy to relate to, and I think a lot of people will read Dumplin’ and find that they’ve felt like Willowdean once or twice before. Dumplin’ will make you laugh out loud, and give you all the feels at the same time. A must read for fans of Rainbow Rowell!
Date published: 2015-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This is just a lovely, lovely book. I couldn't put it down. Willowdean is such a wonderful character who anyone would love to have as their friend.
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best YA Novel of the Year So Far I just finished an advanced reading copy of Dumplin’ and absolutely loved it. It made me giddy. It made me smile like a lunatic, laugh out loud, and brush away the odd tear. I found myself regularly hugging the book to my chest and sighing. This story will speak to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. Anyone who has ever been discriminated against because of their race, sexuality, size, or gender. Those of us who know what it’s like to hesitate because of labels (most, I would imagine). How it feels to hesitate going after what we really want because of the limitations in our mind. Texan teen Willowdean Dickson is the new poster girl for loving yourself and embracing who you are. There is so much truth and honesty in Julie Murphy's storytelling – family bonds, friendship, young love, body image, and so much more is explored. To say it's an inspiring read sells it short – it was truly a joy and a story I will cherish.
Date published: 2015-06-30

Editorial Reviews

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