Title: Dumplin’ Author: Julie Murphy Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction First published: December 22nd 2015 Finished reading: May 15th 2016 Pages: 375
“I hate seeing fat girls on TV or in movies, because the only way the world seems to be okay with putting a fat person on camera is if they’re miserable with themselves or if they’re the jolly best friend. Well, I’m neither of those things.”
This novel by Julie Murphy has been recommended numerous times to me in the past and I was excited to finally read it. But while I really wanted to like this story, Dumplin’ has turned out to be yet another ‘unpopular opinion’ book. And it’s not like I shouldn’t be able to connect with the main character, because basically I have been struggling with my weight myself during most of my life (especially during high school)… But I don’t think this story actually portrays the image body positivity it seems to be wanting to promote. First of all, the main character Willowdean is actually quite a bitch. It is one thing to accept your body and try to be immune what others might say to you, but that doesn’t mean she has to treat the people close to her the way she does. Also, the fact that her own mother consistantly calls her Dumplin was quite annoying; how disrespectful can you be towards your own kid?! Dumplin’ was also packed with stereotypes, I wasn’t sure what to think of the whole cliche Miss Clover City beauty pageant in the first place and like I said before: there was a lot of unnecessarily bullying and negative comments involved that didn’t exactly show that teenagers should just accept their bodies. To make things even worse: there was even an completely unnecessary love triangle included in this story. The horror! Having two boys pining over Willowdean doesn’t make her seem more popular or shows she is ‘ready’ to accept who she is. And I’m not even talking about they way she treats them. So as you might have guessed, even though Dumplin’ was quite a fast read and had an interesting premise, I can’t exactly say I enjoyed it. This seems to be one of those books you either love or hate though, so don’t give up on it if you think you might enjoy it.
Willowdean Dickson has always accepted her body as it is, even though not even her own mother and former beauty queen mom might not feel the same. Dumplin had inspiration closeby: her own aunt always tried to show her that she shouldn’t let other people stop her from doing the things she wants just because of her weight. Together with her best friend Ellen things have always seemed fine, but things change when Will takes a job at the local fast-food joint Harpy’s. One of her new collegues is the attractive Bo, and to Will’s surprise he seems to be interested in her as well. She doesn’t know what to make of his intentions and starts doubting herself… And to make things worse: she and Ellen seem to be slowly growing apart. What happens next might change Will’s life forever: she decides to enter the same Miss Clover City beauty pageant her own mother won in the past to show that she deserves to participate as much as those other girls. But is it really worth it?
I really wanted to enjoy Dumplin’, but now I’ve read it I don’t think it is actually worth the hype. The main character isn’t exactly likeable and I don’t like the way Willowdean treated the others OR the way the ‘unlikely’ contestants were treated. Add the many stereotypes, unnecessary bullying, negative comments and annoying love triangle to the mix and there just wasn’t any other conclusion possible than that I wasn’t convinced by this story. I know many people love this book, but unfortunately I wasn’t one of them.
I haven’t been reading much during the last two days, because I have been trying to reduce the backlog of reviews after the Bout Of Books read-a-thon. Still 5 reviews to go, sigh… I have started reading Hero by Belinda Crawford the other day, which is a very interesting read so far and I’m looking forward to continue reading this story soon. I’ve also picked up Binge by Tyler Oakley on a whim because I was in the mood for a light (and funny) read, and this memoir has been really entertaining so far even though I have to confess I hadn’t heard of the author or his youtube channel before.
WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
* The first book I managed to finish is The Reader On The 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, which was originally written in French. I really enjoyed this story! Part of it felt a bit like Fahrenheit 451, but also completely different… And I loved the fact that the main character read random pages he had saved himself from the Thing.
* I then finished Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, which I read for the The Revolving Shelf book club. I really liked that this story was a mix of elephant info, paranormal elements and a missing person case. Not perfect, but really entertaining.
* Stars Above by Marissa Meyer was my previous TBR jar pick, and turned out to be just as entertaining as I thought it would be. I liked some stories better than others, but the epilogue was without doubt brilliant. It might be a sappy happy ending, but I really didn’t care in this case. 😉
* I also read See How They Run by Ally Carter, and the sequel was almost just as good as the first book. A really entertaining spy thriller with an international touch that is definitely worth reading, even though the main characters can get annoying.
* My last BoB book I finished was Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, which has turned out to be yet another ‘unpopular opinion’ book for me. I didn’t really like this story: the way the main character treated the others; the way she was treated by most people; the stereotypes; the bullying… I just wasn’t convinced.
* I also read the classic The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which turned out to be a really short read and quite interesting.
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?
I just realized that I have actually read or at least started all the books I mentioned here last week! That has to be a first…On to four fresh titles this week it is! First up is another ARC: Housebroken by The Behrg. I haven’t read a good horror story in too long, so I’m really looking forward to it. I also want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, but I’m probably going to read A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas first since I’m not sure how much longer I am going to be able to resist the temptation. 😉 My new TBR jar pick is The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.
FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Readingand showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. This week a mix of books that have already been published and still unpublished titles; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀