This book if for anyone who has ever been their own worst enemy, or held themselves back when others are ready to let them fly. Dumplin’ captures small town Texas with perfection. The book’s heroin, Willowdean loves Dolly Parton, her best friend Ellen, and her wonderful Aunt Lucy. Willowdean is a self-proclaimed fat girl. Sometimes she handles it with confidence; sometimes she lets it put an enormous roadblock in her teenage life. When Ellen gets serious with her boyfriend and boys notice Willowdean for the first time, things begin to change. Ellen and Willowdean both sign up for the town’s beauty pageant and things come undone. Julie Murphy captures the joy and tumult of high school friendships with pitch perfect dialogue and plotting. I felt like I was back at my high school job, earning my freedom by working night shifts for gas money. I appreciated this book because it raised emotions and questions we all have about ourselves: Am I worthy as I am? Can our friendship change and still stay the same? Am I brave enough to let myself be loved? Willowdean has to face her fear of letting someone love her, when she is struggling to love herself. Appreciable YA, thank you Julie Murphy for writing about body image and writing it well.
To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Dumplin’