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Dumplin' (Dumplin' #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  34,794 Ratings  ·  6,057 Reviews
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean 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 mee ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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Gerard Villegas No. As I stated in my review, it's about finding that inner confidence and loving who you are no matter what shape, size or what you look like. The…moreNo. As I stated in my review, it's about finding that inner confidence and loving who you are no matter what shape, size or what you look like. The main character does discuss her issues with her full figured appearance but surprisingly she doesn't let it consume her and finds a way to make it work to her advantage.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This book is a hypocritical mess. There are three main things wrong with it:

1. It was boring
2. It's not body-positive for a book that's about body positivity
3. A love triangle (boo! hiss!)

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of this book? I would say it does. This book is vastly inferior to the spectacular Future Perfect, which sends the message of being comfortable in your own body in a far better way.

The main character in this book is fat. She is also an insecure, judgmental snit. Look, I get that
Emily May
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Dumplin' might be the perfect example of why I don't tend to read light-hearted, fluffy contemporaries.

Occasionally, my foray into this sub-genre ends with surprising new favourites like Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but mostly I'm left feeling a little underwhelmed. Many times, I'm thinking "yeah, that was quite a nice book" or "that had an important message" but I don't feel any emotional connection to it.

The thing about Dumplin' is that it contains a great message. Willowdean "Dumplin'"
Wendy Darling
If this book were a movie, we'd all be at Julie Murphy's slumber party piled in front of the TV in our jammies, both screaming with laughter and clutching each other the minute someone leaned in for a kiss.

This book is: Hilarious. Quietly poignant. Provocative.

This book contains: Nuanced friendships and complex families. Romantic moments as sweet as puppy dog kisses. Lots of Dolly Parton songs. References to awesome books.

And it's so great to find a book that is fiercely positive, most especi
Faye, la Patata
Once upon a time, I was fat.

I would have liked to use the nicer term "overweight", but who am I kidding? Almost weighing 70 kilos in my 5 feet 3 inches frame, I was fat and unhappy. I had big fucking boobs, big bulging sides, big buttcheeks, big arms, thighs that met together in at least one tangent, and the fact that my cheeks were already chubby without the added fat? Unhappiness galore. I tried to convince myself that even though I looked this way, I should still exude confidence because my p
Natalie Monroe
2.5 stars

"If you're gonna go, then go
She said to me on the phone
So tired of hearin' all your
Boy problems
If you're gonna stay then stay
He's not gonna change anyway
So tired of hearin' all your
Boy problems"

Dumplin' is about Dolly Parton and I opened with a Carly Rae Jepsen song. One, because I'm not familiar with Dolly's music. Two, Boy Problems describes Dumplin' perfectly. I'd wager half the book is angst over boys and romance instead of the promised pageant revolution.

Willowdean is fat—and
Whitney Atkinson
I had such high hopes for this book but it was just.... average. The characters weren't amazing, the story wasn't amazing, etc. I was really excited to read this because I love reading books about fat girls, but her size was rarely mentioned. I know the book isn't supposed to focus on her weight, but I found it a little less relatable than i'd like because it failed to give descriptions of her size. Like at one point near the end of the book, it was talking about how she pulled her knees up to h ...more
4.25 stars!

 photo C26BD86C-1589-4719-9164-7242DB627E3C_zpsyp8jlntu.png

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose” -Dolly Parton

Dumplin’ was one of those books I devoured. When I listen to an audio book, I know I’m really into it when I have great books sitting on my kindle waiting for me to read, but I’m finding inconsequential tasks to do around the house just so I can listen. It took me less than 2 days to listen to this book, which is super fast for me. There are so many parts in this story that were relatable to me. I adored our heroine, Ms.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Most of my friends gave this one a “meh” rating, but I FREAKING LOOOOOOOOVED it . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

They obviously all read it wrong (j/k). They also might have actually ponied up some dollars for it, but it was gifted to me by a wee tipsy witch on Festivus Eve.

Meet Willowdean Dickson . . .

“That’s me. I’m fat. It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult. At least it’s not when I say it. So I always figure why not get it out of the way?”

Remind you o
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it

I really REALLY liked this book. The message is SUPER SOLID and fantastic, and we need more books like this.
Will is an incredible character, and all the supporting characters are so great as well. I really loved Millie and her ability to shine so bright no matter what anyone else thought. The relationships in this book were super solid, even through the ups and downs, and it was so great to see so much female friendship.
My main reasons that it's not a 5 star bo
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
YAS! Here's my video review -
C.G. Drews
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, WOW, that was a breath of fresh air. I was freakishly worried about this book because I loathed Side Effects May Vary. But you know what? Dumplin' was INCREDIBLE. There were a few things I was pretty squinty about (basically the romance) but it was so realistic and down-to-earth and refreshing and SOUTHERN Y'ALL. (Warning: I am Australia. I don't even know what Southern is. The ya'll's just amuse me.) Oh! Oh! OH! And the best part? It's about a beauty pagent so do you know what comes next? ...more
may ❀
DNF @ 65%

What started off as beautiful body positive book. . .


I’m fat. It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult. At least it’s not when I say it. So I always figure why not get it out of the way?


I know that fat girls are supposed to be allergic to pools or whatever, but I love swimming… I know people stare, but they can’t blame me for wanting to cool off…What about having huge, bumpy thighs means that I need to apologize?

Slowly turned into…constant judgement ???!!??

I’m fat, but Milli
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dumplin’ is the story of Willowdean Dickson, a fat girl from a small town that hosts the oldest beauty pageant in Texas. After the sudden death of her beloved aunt, Will decides to honor her memory by signing up for the pageant. She wants to try something that her aunt had always denied herself because of her own insecurities about her weight. Now Will suddenly finds herself contending with becoming a beauty queen, her crazy pageant mother, an angry best friend, two cute boys… and maybe a small ...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
“There’s something about swimsuits that make you think you’ve got to earn the right to wear them. And that’s wrong. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it.”

This is one completely adorable, funny, heartwarming and inspiring contemporary YA. I regret that I hadn’t read it sooner. I love the main purpose that the book wants to put across. People spend too much time thinking they’re too fat or too thin, eyes too far apart or too close together, teeth too big or
Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Overall a really cute and fun story with a great moral!
Video review soon (once school slows down a bit)
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I’m fat. It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult. At least it’s not when I say it."

I love this charming book about courage, set in South Texas with a Dolly Parton soundtrack. I was gonna say body image, but truth is, body image is not the central theme of this book. It figures some of course, but it’s more about the courage to retain your shape when the world dictates you to be another.

Willowdean Dickson,Dumplin' to her former beauty queen Mom, is completely fine being fat (not a pejorative
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 5/26/18: I DID IT. I re-read Dumplin’. And I have to say, while I still think Willowdean is honestly the worst, I didn’t hate her with the fire of a thousand suns like I used to. She sucked, but the rest of the book was pretty dang cute and I really liked everyone BUT Willowdean lol. 3.5 stars! Also check out 2015 Chelsea down below trying not to be mean. I hated the book but refused to say so lmao how times change!

Original read 9/22/15: I liked this, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Dolly Parton is singing to some mysterious Jolene who she thinks is more beautiful and more worthy than her, begging her not to take her man. It’s catchy and everyone knows the words, but to me, it's this reminder that no matter who you are, there will always be someone prettier or smarter or thinner."

This was a YA contemporary romance story, about a girl who thou
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”–Dolly Parton

This was such a refreshing, light read! Willowdean Dickson is a curvacious sixteen-year-old living in a small Texas town. For as long as Willow can remember, the only things that are certain in Clover City are its yearly beauty pageant, high school football and the loyalty of her best friend, Ellen.

The latter shifts when the two friends start heading down different paths. All of a sudden, Willow is forced out of her com
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4.5 stars
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. A fun and fast read, it had some great body positive messages in it. I wish this book had been around when I was in high school.
Book Riot Community
Earlier this summer, I talked about fat phobia in YA and noted that I hadn’t yet read Dumplin’ but had read a lot of positive reviews of it. It’s everything I wanted and more. This is a book where Willowdean, a fat girl who knows she’s fat and owns her body as such, but it’s a story about grief, about family, and about Dolly Parton impersonators. There is a sweet relationship that develops here, and I thought the experiences Willowdean had as a fat girl were realistic, honest, and vulnerable — a ...more
You know, there's not one thing I didn't like about this book.

But the thing that stands out the most -- the thing that will cement this book for me as so, so good and so, so important -- is how much Willowdean has a real VOICE. That her voice isn't 100% confident all the time. That, despite being comfortable in her own skin, she has moments of absolutely feeling crushed beneath the expectations the world around her has for her and her body. And those things rang so painfully, authentically true
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
SO this rating is probably closer to 2.5 stars but I decided to round it down because, even though I enjoyed this book, it has too many flaws to be worth a three star rating.

My main problem with this was that it was heralded as a book about body positivity and acceptance but it felt far from it. I found Willowdean to be quite a hypocritical character in general. Her internal monologue was filled with her judging other people; Millie, for example, who Willow points out as 'the type of fat that r
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.

I went into Dumplin' thinking it was going to give me this cute romance with a character who didn't care about her weight. Where she develops an iron heart from all the bullies and then needs a boy's life to unravel it all. That's obviously me just sprouting out wishful plot devices but what I got, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

Willow is very judgmental about other girls and the comments she would
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
2.5 Stars

“All my life I’ve had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything it’s that if it’s not your body, it’s not yours to comment on.”

Dumplin' is the story of Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson, self-proclaimed fat girl who decides to enter her hometown's beauty pageant.

I picked up this book in the hopes that it would be fun and body-positive ... but ultimately, it kind of lacked in both those departments.

Probably the most disappointing aspect of this book is that
Sep 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
I expected a cutesy chick lit romance. I expected an inspiring, body positive theme. I expected a sassy and confident main character. I got none of these things.

Will was a horrible protagonist who thought horrible things about her own body and the bodies of others. When a girl in her school asked the boy she liked out (when he and Will weren't even dating) she made nasty references to the girl's clothes and body.

Not only that, she was also selfish. When Will finally joins her mom's beauty pagean
enqi ✨ (belongs to rhysand & jin)
With all the hype surrounding Dumplin' , I'm really sorry to say this book didn't appeal to me at all. I did find the premise interesting and promising at first, but by the time I reached the 60% mark, I was mostly bored and skimming the pages. I have many things to say about it, so let me just make a list of the reasons I hated disliked this book:

- This book was such a fucking hypocritical mess.
Beautiful, he says. Fat, I think. But can't I be both at the same time?

What started out as a
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4 stars!

All my life I've had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything it's that if it's not your body, it's not yours to comment on.
Fat. Skinny. Short. Tall. It doesn't matter.

I loved this. It's very rare that I read about a MC who is bigger. And I loved that she didn't apologize for it or try to change the way she was, because she felt good about who she was.

This book is about Willowdean Opal Dickson (though her former beauty queen mom calls her Dumplin'). She
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Julie lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cat who tolerates her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray cats, she works at an academic library. Side Effects May Vary is Julie's debut novel.

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“I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.” 85 likes
“I've wasted a lot of time in my life. I've thought too much about what people will say or what they're gonna think. And sometimes it's over silly things like going to the grocery store or going to the post office. But there have been times when I really stopped myself from doing something special. All because I was scared someone might look at me and decide I wasn't good enough. But you don't have to bother with that nonsense. I wasted all that time so you don't have to.” 83 likes
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