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(Dumplin' #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  84,023 ratings  ·  11,331 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 s ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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St. Gerard Expectant Mothers 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 ma…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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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  84,023 ratings  ·  11,331 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
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
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I guess sometimes the perfection we perceive in others is made up of a whole bunch of tiny imperfections, because some days the damn dress just won't zip.”

Look, 3 stars isn't a good rating nor a bad rating. But the issues I had with this book sometimes overcame the good stuff. I can't stop comparing the book to the Netflix movie based on it I saw beforehand (yes, I have watched the movie adaptation before reading the book yet again, AND STILL YOU HAVEN'T SLAYED ME YOU BUFFOONS
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
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘all my life i have had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything its that if its not your body, its not yours to comment on.’

this is a book i wish i had in high school but a story i can still appreciate today. in fact, anyone who has ever had insecurities or issues with their body (which is literally everyone) should read this.

there are such a wholesome messages in this book - how loyalty is the key to meaningful friendship, no one can love you until you lo
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—an
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

EDIT FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY RE-READ (BECAUSE WHAT ELSE IS A HOLIDAY FOR IF NOT TO CHANNEL YOUR INNER SLOTH AND READ TWO BOOKS IN ONE DAY????): Bumping to 5 Stars because there ain't nothing more 'Murican than Texas, beauty pageants and Dolly Parton.

BUUUUUUUUUMP!!!!!!!!!! Because this premieres on Netflix tonight and I'm so excited to go home, put my PJs on, cozy up in bed, turn on the boobtube and shove my face full of what I lovingly ca
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
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 he
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
High Lady of The Night Court
Before I get into my review, I haven’t watched the movie yet, so if you have any thoughts on the movie, or the movie in relation to the book, leave your thoughts in the comments because I have to make up my mind about whether to watch the movie or not, and I would love to talk to you guys about it.

"I’m Dumplin’. And Will and Willowdean. I’m fat. I’m happy. I’m insecure. I’m bold."

This is a book about confidence, friendship, and being comfortable in your own skin. It’s a book about teenage, g
♛ 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
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
I JUST FINISHED THE MOVIE AND IT WAS AMAZING!! It was just as beautiful as the book and, okay, I admit it.... It made me cry 😢 😂
I'm so happy with Young Adult literature today. Even though it all ranges from space to the forests, but it usually has the same over arching message:

And it's true. Everyone is beautiful. It doesn't matter if you black or white; gay or straight; Christian or Muslim; Big or small. It's about what's in your heart. As long as you fight against the evil and unkind, you
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, owned
Overall a really cute and fun story with a great moral!
Video review soon (once school slows down a bit)
Katie B
This was a nice surprise! I really wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did. I was kinda iffy on whether or not I was going to like the beauty pageant parts of the story but thankfully there were some good moments with that and also the other things going on in the main character's life.

What I loved most about the book was Willowdean wasn't perfect. She could be shallow, cruel, and hypocritical among other things. I found it refreshing to have a protagonist who could act like a jerk. T
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disappointing
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
enqi ༄ؘ 。˚ ⋆♡
Jun 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
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:

1. 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
there was a time in my life when i bought every single book in the young adult section of my local Target that even looked a little bit like a romance.

when i think about the amount of money i spent in $15.19 increments (the price, according to my five-year-old memories, of a 20% off hardcover), i want to weep. if i had put it in my savings account, with inflation i could have probably bought a house. if i had played the stock market, i would likely know what the stock market is. if i had investe
Montzalee Wittmann
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is a book and movie I kept hearing about. I am not one to follow the book trends, I like to read books off the beaten path because I find a lot of hidden gems that way but this book intrigued me.
The story is about a beauty pageant but the overall theme, ironically, is not to judge others, and to be yourself, love yourself, just the way you are!
The characters are great and the plot was predictable but good. I watched the movie after the book. I think the book is geared m
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2018 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

Quick quirky read about a stubborn fat girl with a confident rough exterior, yet shaky inner image. While parts of this story were campy and predictable, it was overall “cute” as a basket of puppies. Great overall message to be confident with who you are and never be afraid to be you.
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
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
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Beware spoilers ahead!

Updated thoughts:

Dumplin' was read for The Dream Thieves: Badass Broads.

I'm going to be frank I literally only reread this because of the movie. If it hadn't been for the movie, I wouldn't have bothered with this book. Over the last three years I've forgotten so much. To the point where I confused character names and their personalities.

Upon my reread I'm actually surprised that I was even able to finish this! Wi
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
"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 pejorativ
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a Beautiful Book 💜
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-4
I just love Julie Murphy’s way of describing small town Texas high school life. Willow Dean is working at a fast food joint, swimming at the pool, crushing on a guy, and dealing with a mom who runs a beauty pageant. Also, her best friend has a new friend, Callie, who’s kind of a jerk (putting it mildly.) But things are looking up when Beau, her coworker who she totally likes, likes her back, and they start meeting up late at night to kiss. But when she and Beau see each other outside of their cl ...more
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2022 & 2023 Readi...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Dumplin' (Dumplin' #1) 17 28 Oct 04, 2022 01:14PM  
Nothing But Readi...: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - May 2021 YA BOM (starts 16 May) 351 404 Jun 15, 2021 10:20AM  
The Book Was Better: DUMPLIN 1 12 Apr 12, 2021 07:53PM  
Do you think that Rosie did the right thing by disqualifying Willowdean from the pageant? 4 35 Jan 12, 2020 08:22PM  
discussion 1 4 Oct 28, 2019 01:16PM  

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Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time.

When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure.

She is also the #1

Other books in the series

Dumplin' (4 books)
  • Puddin' (Dumplin', #2)
  • Dear Sweet Pea (Dumplin')
  • Pumpkin (Dumplin', #3)

Articles featuring this book

Hollywood has a long (if uneven) tradition of raiding the Young Adult pantry for stories and series to adapt for the screen. Some books wind up...
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“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.” 152 likes
“I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.” 136 likes
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