Published: September 15, 2015
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.
This is the best “feel good” book that I have read or listened to (I did both) that I have experienced in a long time.
Being a girl/woman with a bit of extra chubbiness here and there I can totally identify with Willowdean and I know just how she feels when Bo lets it be known that he “likes” her. It’s a scary thing, especially at sixteen, and I was so afraid that she was going to let the bullies in the book win, but she didn’t.
When Willowdean entered the pageant, as a confidence builder, three other girls, all with her own physical “flaws”, entered as well and whenever they were in a scene together in the book, it was hilarious and heart warming, as well. Willowdean’s best friend El enters too, and this causes a break in their friendship that lasts for months. El works at Sweet Sixteen, a dress shop that caters to small sizes and has made new friends there and Willowdean feels totally devastated that her best friend is now sharing secrets with girls other than her.
With the death of her Aunt Lucy, her crazy Beauty Pageant focused Mom, missing her best friend, and going from having never been kissed to having two boys that are interested in her, Willowdean’s life is brimming over with drama.
Fantastic book and I have added Bo Larsen to my Favorites Book Beaus List, (swoon)