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Review: Dumplin': Go Big or Go Home by Julie Murphy

Title: Dumplin': Go Big or Go Home
Author: Julie Murphy
Year Published: 2015

Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 371
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)USA (Texas)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the back of the book):
 Self-proclaimed fat girl Willlowdean 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 Teen Blue Bonnet 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.

Review: What a wonderfully delightful book! I really enjoyed reading this and it was quick--only 3 sittings!

Willowdean is a great main character because she is real. She is a senior in high school, has just a few friends, has confidence issues (sometimes), has boys after her (sometimes), gets along with her mom (sometimes)... you see a pattern, I'm sure. She's got a great sense of humor, is smart, and I loved her train of thought.

The secondary characters are also charming, funny, interesting, and realistic. I liked both boys that Willowdean liked, her friends, and even her mom (except when she wasn't being supportive of Will).

The book captures small town life, where kids all know one another, they work at the local fast-food restaurant, date, fight, and the beauty pageant is the biggest thing going.

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