Monday, September 7, 2015

REVIEW: Dumplin' by J. Murphy

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.” 

14 comments:

  1. I have been wondering about this one but with you review and Faye's, I know I need to grab this one FOR SURE!
    Great review LaLa!

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    1. Thanks, Pili! This book was a huge surprise for me. I can count the number of YA Contemporaries I have liked on one hand. It was a really smooth read, too, so it went pretty quickly. Yes, you have to read it. I want to do a discussion post about some of the points it makes. :)

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  2. You read it! And before the release date too woot! So thrilled to hear you loved it and you were able to relate. I love the graphics you used in your review. They're perfect :D

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    1. Thanks! Because of my reading slump and the first of the two "surprise we are Setember pubs" books being a DNF, I was thinking that it would take the entire run of days I had before it's release to get it read. Ha! Such a great book. I loved the fact that only one character had their nose in a cellphone all the time.

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  3. AHHH I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT TOO! :D I totally adored just how...how unique and refreshing it was. THIS is the kind of contemporary I want to read all. the. time. I think it's realistic and I liked the femisitic messages to and AFJDKSLA I JUST REALLY LOVED IT. Although I did get confused with her relationship with Bo and I didn't GET why there were problems?! But maybe I am deluded. xD I loved that quote, too!

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    1. Well, here in the US there is a lot of judgement from a guy's bros about the girls they date (even past high school) and usually dating an overweight girl will get some big negative responses. That was why she was so wary. I now have a book to judge all other Contemporary YAs set in high schools against, for realism. :)

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  4. I can't wait for the book to get released here, the date was pushed back to mid Sep *cries* It sounds so amazing and empowering, Willowdean is definitely someone I would love to get to know! I love that it confronts issues without being too overwhelmingly focused on romance. Fabulous review!

    Aentee at The Social Potato

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    1. Thank-you! Yes, triple yes, this book is ridiculously good. It does prove stories can be entertaining and enlightening at the same time. :)

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  5. I remember you talking about this being the book to break you out of your slump but I'm just now getting to your review. This sounds like a lot of fun and definitely a book I would enjoy except for your concerns. I have a feeling they will bring the star count down for me as well.

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    1. Yes, the birth control issue could have been added without missing a beat, and I thought because the author painted first kisses and the like in a realistic way, with no sugar coating, she would do the same thing with the "first time" scenario, but she didn't. :(

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  6. Like you I rarely read YA contemporary, but you have convinced me that this needs to be consumed! Excellent review :)

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    1. Thanks, yeah, this is definitely a Contemporary book for non-Contemporary readers. :)

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  7. Great review! :) I have really been on the in between for this book! I'm glad you gave it such a high review, I think I might read it!

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    1. Yes! I think even if a person is not into Contemporary they would like this, so if you do like Contemp you will love it. :)

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