I am not big on YA Contemporary, especially if it has romance elements, but I ADORED this book!
Is this a fluffy romance story that just happens to have a chubby main character?
The story is about Texan Willowdean, a self-proclaimed high school fat girl, and the main reason I loved this book is because it was realistic. Sometimes I think the Contemporary YA books I read should be rewritten as Fantasy stories and set in high schools in make-believe lands. I often wonder if some authors were home schooled and actually have no clue what goes on in a regular American high school. DUMPLIN'S characters were real, flawed, and sometimes messy, with imperfect romantic experiences, homework, and fast food jobs that leave them sweaty and smelling like greasy burgers.
There are so many things I want to tell you about this novel, but it is a storyline that carries the reader on a wave of happenings and almost anything I write will be a spoiler! I could not put the book down because there really was not one lull in the story. I nearly fell asleep reading it, and I picked it back up the next day as soon as I had a block of time to read, because I knew I wasn't going to want to put it down until I was finished.
I think everyone will be able to relate to this story because I have been underweight, spot on "normal" weight, and overweight and there were parts to the story that resonated with all the incarnations of me. It tells you to not wait for things to be perfect to LIVE because guess what, perfection is a fallacy.
One of my greatest dreams was/is to conduct an orchestra and I was offered that opportunity in college. My music professor wanted me to conduct the pit orchestra for the semester musical. When I found out I would have my back to the audience, and there was no way around it, I turned her down because I thought my butt was too large. Now at 58 years old I wish my butt was that small!
I gave this book FIVE STARS on Goodreads.
Here on the blog I am giving it 4.5 stars.
BUT YOU ADORED THIS BOOK YOU WILL SAY...
I did! However, from a mother's point of view there was an opportunity for this book to be the perfect issue-related YA Contemporary when one of the characters (I am not telling you which one) was discussing what style and color of lingerie was the best for her "first time". I wish there had been a conversation about using birth control and disease protection thrown into that moment. Also, there was no mention that the "first time" isn't exactly tied up with a pretty pink bow.
“I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.”
― Julie Murphy,