Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Hi, my name is Rya. I am a sophomore and I enjoy reading, swimming and traveling.
The Miss Teen Blue Bell Pageant is the pride and joy of Clover City, Texas. When pageant season rolls around, competitors become obsessed with how to impress the judges, where to buy the most flattering dresses, and what the best way to slim down before the competition is. But for Willowdean, slimming down is not a concern. As someone who is overweight, Will plans to compete in the pageant by defying beauty stereotypes and walking onto the stage with utmost confidence.
While trying to achieve her goal, Will is still mourning the death of an aunt, who was like a mother to her. She must also navigate a complicated love triangle while overcoming her self-consciousness, and journey through the perils of broken and new friendships.
At first glance, this book seems to be a solid read, but I was quite underwhelmed by it. Personally, I found the plot to be weak and the characters to be lacking in dimension and likability. Upon finishing the book, I was not left with any significant life lessons, besides the anecdote that this book is obviously based on: to be confident in who you are. Although this message is valuable, I didn’t feel that this book brought any new meaning to an otherwise cliche saying. That said, Dumplin’ was a simple read that kept me turning the pages more easily than I would have for many other books, so it might be worth a try if it sounds interesting to you.