Book Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy


Goodreads Link

Barnes and Noble Link

Julie Murphy Website

“My body is the villain. That’s how she sees it. It’s a prison, keeping the better, thinner version of me locked away. But she’s wrong.” -Dumplin’ Page 133. 

This book automatically caught my attention because of the themes of this book. So many ‘taboo’ themes in literature are becoming more eminent. I’m so proud of how far YA has come in topics like mental health, feminism, etc. With that being said, I have never seen a book that is centered around the fat body image.

I would be lying if I said that I have never struggled with body image. Since a very young age, I have been driven by other’s opinions. When I was around five years old, I remember going to Target with my grandma. “You’re going like that?” She said to me. “Let’s fix your hair.” When I inquired what she meant by that, she replied: “Well, what if you see a cute boy there?”

I have had friends who swore up and down that they wouldn’t judge me by my body but then they told me to stand up straight in grade school during the Pledge of Allegiance because I looked fat. Almost every day, I find some way to be insecure about myself. Whether it be my body, hair, outfit, or anything in between. I know that I will never be at the point where I will be 100% comfortable with my body. I know that for a fact.

One of my favorite YouTubers Carrie Hope Fletcher (itswaypastmybedtime) made a video talking about body image. She said that there are only two things you should worry about in regards to your body. Two questions to ask yourself: are you happy and are you healthy? If the answer to one of those is no, then what can you do to change that? That is one principle I like to dwell on.

Now, for the actual review.

Willowdean ‘Dumplin’ Dickson has always been comfortable in her body. She has never been insecure about her less-than-skinny figure. When she becomes acquainted with Bo, she suddenly becomes insecure. Her confidence is hindered. She enters Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant as a way to gain back confidence.

I really enjoyed this book. It was very thoughtful while being comical. I was afraid that this book would be: “I’m fat. I’ll go on a journey to lose weight and then I’ll be happy!” It was definitely not like that. In fact, Willowdean doesn’t think of losing weight as a way to gain back confidence. I admire that because many times being skinny isn’t everything.

I rated this book a four out of five stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t absolutely perfect. It did have flaws, but the good outweighed the bad. I recommend this book for everyone. You don’t have to be (fat, skinny, a beauty pageant attendee, etc.) to enjoy this book.

Thanks for reading my review. Let me know what you think about Dumplin’ in the comments. Have a great week!





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