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.
Willowdean is a full figured girl, who is comfortable with her body. She's happy as she is and is refreshingly realistic about her weight and life. I loved her honesty and how she takes a stand for other bullied and downtrodden teens.
I'm not sure why, but I was expecting Dumplin' to be somewhat preachy - it really isn't! Willowdean rocks. As confident as she is, she's not always positive, in fact, a lot of Will's charm focuses around her snarky and cynical side. Handsome Bo confuses her. He makes Will doubt herself so she takes a stand against being more of a target for bullies.
Murphy includes an interesting bunch of secondary characters, who have varying impacts on Willowdean's life. I felt as though her friendship with El was honest and accurate. I'm not the biggest fan of Will's mother, because she's often thoughtless, too concerned with appearances and, of course, beauty pageants.
The balance between drama and humour worked really well. Will is funny, her exploits with the contestants had me in hysterics. I'd love to read a story about some of the other girls...