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It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

437 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 8, 2018

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About the author

Julie Murphy

34 books5,691 followers
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 New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels Dumplin’ (now a film on Netflix), Puddin’, Pumpkin, Ramona Blue, and Side Effects May Vary. Her middle grade novels include Dear Sweat Pea and a forthcoming 2023 title. She is also Disney's If The Shoe Fits, a modern day romcom retelling of Cinderella. Her writing partner is Sierra Simone and their romance debut is A Merry Little Meet Cute.

Julie has been featured in places liek Good Morning America, The New York Times, and Teen Vogue. Dumplin' was also named one of the best young adult books of all time by Time Magazine.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,563 reviews
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,095 reviews17.7k followers
Shelved as 'zzzzz-coverporn-etc'
October 19, 2017
holy crap wait is this a romance between the two girls on the cover?

Profile Image for Christy.
3,913 reviews33k followers
May 14, 2018
4.5 stars!!!


Puddin’ is such a wonderful, feel good YA book. I am a huge fan of Julie Murphys after reading Dumplin’, and now Puddin’ and I was lucky enough to meet her this past weekend and get an autographed copy of both books! Eek! 

This book has two main characters/narrators. The first is Millie. Millie is amazing. She would have been my BFF in HS. Heck, in many ways, I was a lot like her in school. I loved how she was always positive, focused on friendship, and had dreams and goals of her own. I only wish I would have had the confidence she has at that age. The other mc is Callie. Callie couldn’t be more opposite than Millie. She is sort of a ‘mean girl’, but Callie changes with time over the course of the book and becomes much more likable.

Both girls had a love interest in the story. Millie’s was sweet and wonderful, and I liked Callie’s love interest more than her a lot of the time. But as much as I loved the romance aspect of these books, the fact that Murphy focuses on positive female friendships at this age is EVERYTHING. That is the biggest focus within this story. And those are the relationships when you’re a teen that are important. I also love that the familial relationships are in the forefront of the book. Millie’s relationship with her parents, as well as Callie’s played a big part.

I loved this story so much. Once again, my only complaint is that it ended too soon. I wanted more. Thank you Julie Murphy for writing characters that are realistic, positive, have hopes and dreams, and ones that are relatable to all. I wish books like this would have been written when I was in high school!
My magic truth -- the thing that has changed everything for me -- is this : the body I have shouldn't change how deserving I am of my dreams.
Profile Image for Peter Monn.
Author 2 books4,119 followers
May 17, 2018
Every Julie Murphy Book just gets better and better. Did I cry? Of course! Did I laugh? Of course! But mostly I cheered! My full review will be up on my booktube channel at http://Youtube.com/peterlikesbooks
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
July 16, 2018
Love love love love LOVED Millie as a character. She was the sweetest thing ever and I’m so glad I read this. Giving it a 3.5 as well bc it was mega cute, but I feel like it lacked the oooomph to really make me care and give it a 4. So 🤷🏼‍♀️
Profile Image for Eliza.
596 reviews1,378 followers
August 19, 2018
2 / 5

Puddin’, while very similar to Dumplin’, did not have the same “feeling” as its predecessor. At least, that’s my opinion—but feel free to disagree with me on that.

I tried not to compare Puddin’ to Dumplin’, but the entire time I was reading my brain kept on yelling: Will was a better character! Why can’t I connect to Millie or Callie? Why don’t I like anyone or anything going on?

It was exhausting.

I quickly came to realize (around page 100) that I wasn’t going to enjoy Puddin’. When I have nothing to compare to or relate to or enjoy, then obviously it’s not a good book to me. I’m not saying it’s a bad book—because it’s actually written well and flows well—but to me, I wasn’t interested and it felt too long. Frankly speaking: I was bored.

Overall, Puddin’ is a perfect books for those who want to see where Will and Bo ended up and want to learn more about Millie. I mean, I actually fit into that categorization before I read this, but for some reason I wasn’t interested. Maybe it’s because “mean cheerleaders” and high school drama is becoming too predictable and dull for me? Could be. I am twenty after all.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,478 reviews7,773 followers
July 11, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“I need you like Oprah needs Gayle.”

2018 is apparently when I break my own rules when it comes to reading since I generally don’t read second offerings, but I’ve done it a couple of times this year and as soon as I heard this was going to be a thing I was all like . . . . .

As the blurb states, Puddin’ is a companion book to Dumplin’. It’s probably not necessary to read that one in order to enjoy this one, but boy oh boy would you be missing out if you didn’t. This go ‘round the focus is on former Miss Clover City beauty pageant contestants Millie Michalchuk . . . .

and Callie Reyes . . . .

This is a story of their unlikely friendship when a prank goes too far and leaves Callie with some community service type of hours at the family-owned gym where Millie works part-time. It’s a sweet little story that teaches a handful of life lessons. Like . . . .

And . . . .

And . . . .

(Ha! That totally doesn’t really say “people” in the movie – look how I keep it all P.G. for you kids *winky face emoji*)

And most importantly . . . .

If you are a fairly liberal-minded parent, I would totally recommend this (and the amazing Willowdean’s story) to upper-middle-grade girls. They need to learn about this stuff BEFORE they get to high school. (Note: There is alluded to sex, but absolutely no detail whatsoever and the girl realizes that she’s worth more than just her looks and locks it down so I thought that was excellent.)

3 Stars because I just wasn’t the target demographic for this one. Buuuuuuuut I’m still completely enamored with Julie Murphy and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next : )
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,349 reviews3,004 followers
December 11, 2018
3.5 stars

I thought this was a pretty nice follow-up to the book Dumplin'. Willowdean isn't the main character in this one, but she does make some appearances so you do get to find out a little bit about what is going on in her life. Callie and Millie were side characters in the previous book and I enjoyed seeing them featured in this novel.

Millie is sick of attending fat camp every summer and is determined to get into a camp with other students who have an interest in broadcast journalism. Callie might seem to have it all with a popular boyfriend and a spot on the dance team, but yet girls just don't seem to get along with her. The two girls are forced to interact with one another and big shocker, they might have more in common than they think.

Female friendships were definitely the main focus of this book although there are some romances also. This is one of those in which you definitely know in what direction the story is heading but you enjoy watching it all unfold. Callie pretty much had no redeeming qualities in the first book and while she still might not be as likable as Millie, you do get to understand her a bit better. I might have liked Dumplin' a smidge better but this was a good read also. I'm curious to see if the author will end up writing another book featuring some of the other girls. Would definitely read if she does.
Profile Image for Cesar.
364 reviews237 followers
August 19, 2018
4 stars.

I'm simply amazed by how Julie can manage to not only write an excellent story but also incorporate many social issues in one book! Dumplin' and Ramona Blue are some of my favorite contemporary stories because of how they manage to not only make me smile but also how they share deep emotional stories of the characters. And Puddin' is no exception! Julie is becoming one of my favorite authors to look out for.

Puddin' is a companion novel to Dumplin' where it tells the stories of Millie and Callie, two girls who are on opposite ends of the social ladder. Mille dreams of going to journalism camp and Callie wants what's best for her dance team. Circumstances bring these two together to make the most uplifting friendship the town has ever seen. A sweet story of overcoming obstacles and friendship.

I recommend you read Dumplin' first before going into Puddin' since the characters are already established in Dumplin' as well as knowing what the plot was from Dumplin'.

What Julie excels in Puddin' is how she makes a story about friendship and turns it into a heartwarming story of two girls wanting to change the world around them. Millie and Callie to make an interesting duo because Millie is the nice girl and Callie is the mean girl. But surprisingly, they get along well. Their friendship is not only of convenience but one that brings out the best of each girl. Even mean girl Callie grew on me. And Millie was a sunshine personified, being all happy and determined. These two are the definition of a heartfelt genuine friendship. Points for that.

Then comes the social issues Julie tackles. From body acceptance, race, sexuality, Julie does an amazing job of going through each matter. When you have an author who does a great job of going through each subject, it makes the story all the more wholesome and fun with such a diverse cast.

The one issue I do have with the book is how it rushed things near the end. If you paid any attention to your middle school English lessons, you would know about the story arc (exposition and stasis, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution). To me, Puddin' had the exposition, rising action, and climax, but the falling action and resolution happened too quickly. Imagine the falling action being only 5 seconds and the resolution 2 seconds. This is apparent in the last 30 pages of the book. It wasn't bad, but it was too rushed.


Julie did an amazing job with Puddin'. I liked everything from the characters, to the plot, it was all sublime. If there's a contemporary author I'm looking forward to reading their books, it's Julie.

Thanks for reading my review!

Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books399 followers
January 5, 2023
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get to this series! LOVE LOVE LOVE! Amazing characters, believable angst and pages you just can’t stop turning. I loved Millie to death, and adore Julie Murphy for her skill in crafting characters who are diverse in so many ways and have quirky personalities all their own.

Callie, I’ll be honest, took a while to grow on me, and I thought the author did a fantastic job of writing the entitled, spoiled facets of her character authentically. The way she couldn’t see past me, me, me after I like the way Julie Murphy explored all the different ways you can feel isolated and “othered” in subtle ways. This had a lot of really powerful, positive messages and just fun writing. It was absolutely a page-turner and I ate up every bit!

Profile Image for Kristen Peppercorn .
558 reviews96 followers
April 8, 2018
Review can also be found on my blog.

Super big thanks to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for letting me read an e-arc of this.

This. Book. Was. So. Stinkin'. Sweet.

WARNING: Reading this book too quickly may put you at an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

I seriously adore Millie with all my heart. Heck, even mean girl Callie grew on me. I didn't think that was going to be possible but Julie Murphy is some kind of a magical unicorn woman. She knows how to write a friendship tale like no other.

I have the same complaint with this one that I had with Dumplin'. The ending was somewhat abrupt and my body was not ready to leave these characters behind.

Overall, this was an incredibly solid YA contemporary. I would definitely be down for another companion novel in this series. Or pretty much anything else Julie Murphy wants to bless us with. I promise not to be too picky.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,738 reviews709 followers
April 21, 2018
3.5 stars

I loved Dumplin’ so I knew I would be reading Puddin’ when I found out it was happening. And honestly, I was a little let down that it wasn’t the girl romance that cover and synopsis made me think it was.

Millie and Callie are okay MCs. Mille is ridiculously positive and Callie is ridiculously negative and while I liked them well enough, I didn’t feel connected to either of them. I didn’t care for the way Callie’s actions were addressed — she didn’t catch on to how her actions effected people and no one bothered to inform her. There are several secondary characters and the story does rely on needing to be familiar with the other girls from Dumplin. Of course I didn’t remember them, so I was a bit left out of some of the jokes and possible mentions from the previous book.

Plot wise, it moved slower than I was expecting. Lots of small things happened that didn’t seem to work up towards anything substantial. By the time I got to the end, I was a little surprised that it was over at that point. It’s not a cliffhanger, yet it felt unfinished.

Don’t get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read. There are several scenes of girls supporting girls, talk of body positivity, diversity, and representation. I guess I was expecting a lot more from this one and didn’t quite get what I wanted.

**Huge thanks to Balzer + Bray for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Brooke — brooklynnnnereads.
1,031 reviews247 followers
June 18, 2018
After reading (and loving) Dumplin', I was so excited to hear that there was a sequel in the works.

I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this sequel. Maybe not as much as I enjoyed Dumplin', but close to it.

These characters were diverse, relatable, and mostly a good representation of what it's like to be a teenager. There may have been more dramatic moments that may not be particularly realistic, but for the most part, I thought it was was pretty realistic. The characters were also diverse in body types, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations. I definitely respect that because I think that is more of an accurate representation of reality than having everyone be the same.

It was an enjoyable, fast-paced read that I really did like. Julie Murphy has become one of my "auto-buy" authors and this novel certainly didn't disappoint. I did have some issues with the novel but as a whole, it was a very good read.
Profile Image for Katy O. .
2,315 reviews723 followers
May 16, 2018
Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this review copy!

ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. Body-positive, fat-positive, kick-a** females and a whole lot of wit. This book is an amazing follow up to Dumplin' and I don't want this series to ever, ever end! This is required reading for every mother, every daughter, and everyone on earth who could use an affirmation or reminder that ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL. And all dreams are worthwhile and worth fighting for. And crushes are awesome and all love is fabulous and girls can love girls and girls can love boys and girls can be asexual and IT'S ALL THE RIGHT KIND OF LOVE! The mean girl cheerleader role is flipped on its rear end and I just LOVED THAT.

And yes, you need to read Dumplin' first. Duh. Why deprive yourself of that amazingness?

And yes, the more I love a book the MORE SHOUTING I DO.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,476 reviews1,892 followers
May 17, 2018
"If Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood had a baby, it'd be you."
"I'm not sure you mean that as a compliment, but I'm going to take that as one, because Luna and Neville forever."

As much as I've liked Murphy's previous books, I've never loved them. PUDDIN' is the closest to perfect I've had yet to have with this author. So I'm rounding this one up because while it wasn't an easy, or solid, four.. it wasn't too far off the mark.

"Luke and Nikolai had the toxic shits last night. We might just have to condemn the whole house. All is lost, Millie. Poopacalypse has claimed every last soul."

The second in the Dumplin' series picks up after the self-same titled book but from this time from the perspectives of popular co-captain of the dance team, and unapologetic meangirl Callie Reyes. and Millie Michalchuk, a total sweetheart, crafting fan, and the runner up in the beauty pageant from book one, who also belongs to the same fatgirl sisterhood as Willowdean. And to clarify what I mean by that : she's fat and unashamed. She owns it. She owns herself. And that's that.

My magic truth -- the thing that has changed everything for me -- is this : the body I have shouldn't change how deserving I am of my dreams.

These two unlikely girls, not enemies but certainly not friends, end up spending a lot of time together after Callie is busted for vandalizing the local gym that happens to be owned by Millie's uncle. There is bitterness, heartbreak, revenge, reinvention, realization, and even a Mean Girls homage. There is diversity, rebellion, reconciliation, way less Dolly Parton references than book one, and teen girls being as awful as teen girls can sometimes be. But it also has teen girls being the best kind of humans ever. And I think it's important to see both.

"Hey, Mrs. D. Nice sweater."
"Oh. This was my aunt Dolores'. We almost buried her in it, but I was able to find her favourite just in time for the viewing."
"What a.. memorable story."

Not every aspect of the story was smooth sailing, not every character felt as fully realized as some of the others, and there are definitely a few mishaps that I'm sure (hope?) will get ironed out prior to publication. But. But. This is a great example of some of the more realistic YA fiction, with an equal amount of representation, that needs to be out in the world and I can't help but really really like it despite some of the glitches. Definitely my favourite by this author so far.

3.75 "a long time ago, I decided to make a list of all the things I could control and what it came down to was this : my attitude" stars

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Sara (A Gingerly Review).
2,699 reviews160 followers
June 8, 2021
4.5 stars!

I am so full of thoughts and emotions about this book. I need some time to compile them.

Riots not diets!


Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...

I’ve been struggling with my review for Puddin’ because it was just that good of a story. I usually doubt my words and my ability to express how much I really enjoyed a story that pushes people to want to read it as well. I loved Dumplin’ because it gave a voice where there needed to be one. I feel this story did the same thing.

**I will state that this is a companion novel to Dumplin’, not a sequel.*

Short recap: Millie and Callie have never been, what you might call, friends. Millie is constantly made fun of by Callie and her friends because Millie is a big girl. Millie has gone to fat camp and struggles with her weight, but she doesn’t let it get her down. Callie an all around mean girl on the school dance team. Callie is involved with a prank that goes horribly wrong and ends up being forced to work with Millie. Being forced to spend so much time together means these two discover things about themselves and each other they never realized.

From the moment the story started, I knew I was going to feel for Millie. I was going to have her back no matter what. I kept seeing parts of myself in her character and that caused me to bond with her even more. Millie was all around a good girl. She was the type of girl I wish I had in my high school so I could have been friends with her. She was always honest and always stood up for what she thought was right, regardless of who it might upset. She stayed true to herself and that was wonderful to read. Callie, well, she was not those things. She was a spoiled brat of a girl who believed she was above everything and everyone. She was always making fun of people (especially Millie) because she thought Millie’s size warranted jokes. Always be careful because Karma is a bitch. And Karma came for Callie in this story.

Everything about this story kept me turning the pages. I could not get enough. I was cheering Millie on for her dream to be a journalist. It may sound morbid, but I was oh so curious about Callie’s true self and if she really was as stellar and solid as she appeared to be on the outside. (Spoiler: NO) I loved the guest appearances by Willowdean! *squeee!*

Any good Julie Murphy story has a love interest and this story is no different. Both girls had a love interest and it was so much fun to read about. BUT! The main focus of the story is not the romance, but friendship and how much of a difference a positive female friendship can make. I do remember being an overweight teen being picked on day in and day out. I remember how hateful my classmates were and how horrible that all made me feel. My best friend was not going to my school at the time so I felt incredibly alone. All I needed and wanted was a friend. That is why I try to nurture my friendships as much as possible because we all deserve positive females that will hold us up when we lose our strength.

I did warn you that this review might not be too good. Just know that I loved this story and would love more from these characters, this universe. I’m on board for more stories about great friendships, Dolly Parton, drag queens.
Profile Image for julianna ➹.
207 reviews269 followers
August 4, 2019
I've been reading so many quality contemporaries lately oml

>> specific rep includes a plus-size representation mc, a biracial half-latinx mc, an Indian love interest, two side f/f relationships, an asexual side character
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
622 reviews625 followers
November 19, 2018
I've been sitting on writing this review for a couple of days because I just don't know how to express my love for this book and Julie Murphy. Puddin' offers so many great aspects and I simply enjoyed all of them.

In Puddin' we follow the perspective of Millie, Willowdean's friend from Dumplin', and Callie, basically Willowdean's arch enemy. I don't think you necessarily have to have read Dumplin' to go into Puddin' but it makes for a much better reading experience and I genuinely don't know why you wouldn't wanna read Dumplin' first. Both novels are wonderful.

In terms of diversity, Millie is fat and Callie is biracial. Her dad is Mexican and her mum is white and she lives with her and her white step-dad and sister, so there's some talk about her feeling like she doesn't fit in and how the outside perceives her and her family.
Millie's love interest is Indian and Callie's later love interest is also fat. There's a lesbian, and asexual side-character. I can't speak for any of these marginalizations and I'm not sure if there were sensitivity readers.
There is a lot of fatphobia in this book, some coming from Millie's classmates, a lot comes from her mum but we also experience it from Callie's POV. Millie's fatness is an #ownvoices aspect but the things said to her regarding that can be incredibly tough to read.

Both main characters are basically polar opposites. Millie is such a sweetheart and deserves the whole world. In this novel she is still learning how to stand up for herself, trust herself and be her own person.
Callie on the other hand is a real dick. Especially the first few chapters reading from her perspective is really not pleasant but she's one of those unlikeable characters that are still fun to follow. She's also, on the opposite of Millie, someone who learns how to truly trust other people. Her shift in this novel is a big one. She does things that are truly unforgivable and disgusting but in the end I felt satisfied with her character development.

The absolute best aspect of this novel are the friendships. The old pageant friend group from Dumplin' gets back together and I couldn't be happier about it. I truly love these girls and I wanna be friends with them as well! It's so fun to see them all be there for each other, to support and encourage, but also to not be afraid to tell someone off. It's a great portrayal of friendship because it shows the ups and downs and that a friendship doesn't have to be perfect to be a great one!

I also loved both romances. Julie Murphy absolutely exceeds at writing fluffy romances. Ooof and that romance between Millie and Malik??? Two people who really like each other but are both to shy to do anything about it???????? RELATABLE!
It's another aspect that absolutely shows the ups and downs of a healthy relationship but that doesn't make it less fluffy for me. My heart SINGS just thinking about these two couples!

Overall Puddin' is a wonderfully emotional ride that shows the power of friendship and how much the people you surround yourself with can inspire you. I'd highly recommend it, just as basically every other Julie Murphy novel!

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I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exhange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Ginger at GReadsBooks.
372 reviews56 followers
January 7, 2018
Julie Murphy has run away with my heart yet again. I swear this woman writes stories just for me (ok not really, but damn it feels like it).

She’s back, in Clover City, to tell Millie & Callie’s stories. One minute I’m laughing, then the next I’m counting my tears, right alongside some of the characters. It’s a full range of emotions that I’ve become so familiar with while reading a Julie Murphy novel. She knows how to write a story for which we can all see ourselves in. I loved this one. Oh, how I LOVE IT!

Profile Image for Rissa.
1,420 reviews47 followers
January 7, 2019
I wanted to see more of Millie and Callie but instead I saw the boys get together and their whole story which I really didnt care about.
The high school drama was boring and mundane. To predictable and just not enjoyable.
I really enjoyed Dumplin but this was a huge let down.
Profile Image for Racheal.
1,016 reviews83 followers
January 24, 2018
Don't mind me over here crying like a little baby. Julie Murphy's books, man- they just make me feel seen! The characters, the tenderness, the open explorations of how to become the person you want to be, the special insights into the challenges of being a (mostly) (somewhat) unapologetic fat girl.

I mean, Dumplin' and Puddin' both pretty much read like they're taken straight from my Most Perfect Fat Girl Fairytale Checklist. Let's see:
-Actual fat girl on the cover? Check!

-Title that doesn't contain a fat pun, a number, or the words weight, pound, or curve? Check!

-Fat main character who has distinct thoughts, opinions, goals, and overall personality? Check!

-Fat main character who doesn't need to lose weight to get the guy or the happy ending? Check!

-Fat main character who isn't some fat unicorn and actually has a fat parent and/or friends? Check! Check! (This one is IMPORTANT--more later.)

My main worry going into this was that Millie was going to get on my nerves. Whereas Willowdean from Dumplin' is my cynical soul sister, Millie always struck me as the kind of hyper-positive person that I honestly have a hard time with in real life. And indeed, our opening shot is of Millie in her room surrounded by a bunch of hand cross-stitched motivational sayings.

But I always put my trust in Julie Murphy and she has yet to let me down. Sure enough, it didn't take long to convinced me that Millie is less annoying-toothpaste-commercial and more spunky-ass-cinnamon-roll.

This book works for two main reasons: one, because Murphy is one of the queens of character development when it comes to lighter contemporaries (right after Rainbow Rowell imo), and two, because she chose to alternate perspectives with Callie, a pretty, popular dance team co-captain who has fallen from grace. Watching Callie gradually open up and organically growing as a person is flippin' awesome. With a lesser author it could easily have turned into some simplistic, sappy crap, but this is too good for that.

While I do think the narrative slows down at points, making this somewhat of a put-downable read, there are just SO MANY THINGS to love.

I love that this is basically a love letter to female friendships. Sure there are guys and swoony bits and life happening, but friendship is the true star here.

I love how sex positive these books are, featuring a wide range of sexual activity and comfort levels. You've got an asexual character, one who angrily makes out with a cute guy behind the dumpsters but isn't ready for sex, a sweet, blushy first kiss, and a girl who just straight up loves banging her hot boyfriend.

I love that it shows how hard change can be, that it's not always a linear thing, that it doesn't always progress in a logical, upward fashion. It shows that even if you decide to change something, your negative thoughts and impulses surrounding it can still be there. For instance, when Millie's stressing over whether or not her crush likes her and is thinking that maybe he's just been faking his interest, she says:

"I know thinking like that isn’t gonna get me anywhere. And it’s the exact reason why I’m not going to fat camp and obsessing over diets with my mom anymore, but all those horrible thoughts still exist. I’m just trying to figure out how to live in spite of them."

I love that it shows how we can see the good in others when we can't see it in ourselves. It looks at the importance of allowing our friends in to see into our dark, squishy insides so that they can counter the mean voices in our brains that tell us that we're not worthy.

Lastly, to loop back around, I love that there are multiple fat characters. There are specific dynamics that exist between fat characters that you won't quite find elsewhere.

These dynamics can be a positive, like in the relationship between Willow and Millie where they show each other what's possible. They can be more fraught when one person wants to change and the other wants things to stay the same because changing might mean losing common ground, feeling left behind, etc. Mutually fat mother/daughter relationships in particular have their own particular brand of expectations, patterns, enmeshment, etc. This was the thing in the first book that resonated with me so strongly, and it's the thing that gives it such a special, unique place in my heart. I've just never seen anyone else quite explore this with such nuance before, which is honestly a shame.

Why is this so rare? Why do we so often portray people with certain marginalized identities as alone?

Anywho. I don't know. Something to stick in the ol' braintube to think about later...

Ok, I'm going to stop now because this is already far too long. Overall I liked this a scoach less than Dumplin' but I think it's still pretty apparent that I just really dig Julie Murphy's books for their sweetness, all-around endearing characters and thoughtful themes.
Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews158 followers
September 4, 2020
This was solid and I enjoyed myself. Whilst I didn’t like Callie as a person, I still enjoyed the way her character was written. Millie was really great. It was slightly predictable, especially the ending and it didn’t end up feeling that special but it was a nice fun read.
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,154 reviews1,465 followers
April 17, 2019
Oh man, I REALLY loved this. I loved it even more than Dumplin'. Such a real heartwarming story with authentic characters. Millie is a crafty rule following fat girl who wants to be a broadcast journalist. Callie is a popular girl with a jerk bf, no true friends, and super into the dance team. Strange circumstances bring them together, and they become friends against all odds. Wonderful diversity of all stripes, and seriously adorable romances. I was really happy to see Mitch from Dumplin' get an HEA (HFN?) and Millie and Malik were just so cute I couldn't handle it. Nerds in love are my favourite! This book also has fantastic fat-positive and fatphobia content. I totally learned stuff but it didn't feel preachy.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,224 reviews256 followers
May 8, 2018
3.5 Stars
“I guess … well, that’s what stories do. They connect people. Stories change hearts and then hearts change the world.”
So this book was sweet and hilarious. Puddin’ follows Millie Michalchuk and Callie Reyes after circumstances force the pair together. The girls, who are as different as can be, start to develop one unexpected friendship.

Things I Liked
I loved Millie. I thought she was this effervescent bubble of sunshine and positivity. She was optimistic , but not to the point of naivety, just a happy person who is a joy to be around. It was great seeing an unapoligetic fat girl shine.

I’m all about friendships in books so the fantastic girl group that Millie surrounds herself with was great to see. I lived that each girl had their own personality and opinions. They weren’t carbon copies of each other, but they made this supportive, encouraging, and unstoppable group.

Millie and Malik were so freaking sweet, adorable, cute, and all the other fluffy, feel-good adjectives. Everytime they shared the page I was a goofy, smiling mess.

Things I Didn’t Like
I didn’t like Callie at all. She was a horrible person and I didn’t find any of her traits to be redeeming. And her growth seemed self-serving, so my feeling stayed pretty negative toward her for the entire book. With her being the other POV character, it did bring my enjoyment level down a bit.

Millie’s mom also kinda sucked. I wanted her to embrace Millie as she was, not who she had the potential to be after she lost a few pounds.

Puddin’ was definitely an enjoyable read and made me want to pick up Dumplin’. I’m always here for friendship stories and the good outweighed the bad for me. All-in-all this was a fun read, perfect for the transition to summer.

I received a copy of the book from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
March 30, 2018
I have so many feelings about this book and I doubt I will explain them well.  I absolutely love the way Julie Murphy writes.  Her words are touching, but there is always a lot of humor, too.  Her characters are so easy to relate to and I end up loving them.

Millie   I adored Millie.  She was definitely my favorite person in this book.  Millie was in Dumplin', but this time the story is about her and Callie.  Millie is overweight and she makes no excuses for it.  She uses the word fat like it's nothing bad.  She explains that it's just a word and it's part of who she is.  Millie is kind to everyone and knows exactly what she wants in life.  Her mom was overweight when she was younger and her whole life is defined by weight loss and diets.  She pushes this on Millie at a young age and sends Millie to "fat camp" every summer.  Millie decides that she's done with camp, but doesn't know how to explain it to her mom.  

Callie    Callie is the mean girl and is so hard to like at first.  She is rude to just about everyone and is pretty selfish.  She is part of the dance team and they get really upset when the local gym drops their fundraising.  The team decides to get even and ends up vandalizing the gym.  Callie is the only one who is caught and she has to go work at the gym to pay off the debt.  She is also dropped from the team and her boyfriend breaks up with her.  Her whole life is changed by one bad choice.  Callie starts working with Millie and as much as the fights it, she can't help but like Millie.  Millie's friendship helps Callie grow so much throughout the book.  We find that Callie has her own personal struggles at times, partly because of her race.  She also has no idea who she is without dance and her boyfriend.  She struggles to make good choices in her life and tends to act on impulse without thinking things through.

The rest.   We see all the girls back from Dumplin and they add a lot of friendship and laughter to the story.  We also get a couple boys.  Malik who Millie really likes a lot and Mitch that ends up talking to Callie more.  Millie pushes the girls to spend more time together again and they start having slumber parties.  My favorite one was when Callie hosted.

The parents.   We see a lot of love from the parents in the story, but also a lot of flaws.  Callie's mom is obsessed with the dance team.  She does the right thing with grounding Callie after all the bad things she does, but she also struggles with the fact that her daughter won't repeat her dance history.  I really liked Callie's bio dad and wish he would have been in the book more.  Millie's mom was the big problem parent for me.  Yes, she loved her daughter.  But her focus on weight was such an issue.  This one hit close to home for me.  She just couldn't be happy with Millie how she was and I could feel Millie's pain.

"There's a thin girl in you just waiting to get out."

Callie's abuela.   I loved Callie's abuela so much!  Her relationship with her reminded me a lot of my grandma.  There was just this pure love.  No matter what Callie did, her grandma loved her for who she was.  She had so much wisdom that she shared in the little time we had with her.

"If you only love what comes easy for you, you'll find you don't have much to love.  Work for it, girl."

Puddin' really focuses on friendships and finding yourself and being happy with who you are.  There was a little bit of romance, too.  I loved everything about it and gave it 5 stars.

I received a copy from Edelweiss for review.  Quotes are taken from an arc and may change before final publication. 
Profile Image for Caroline.
138 reviews29 followers
July 10, 2018
I have to say, I was disappointed by the sequel. It seemed predictable, and cliche, I felt like half the pages didn't really have meaning or add anything to the story. I really did like Millie, she's adorable in this book though, didn't like Callie, even though it seems you should like her towards the end. I also would've liked to have more time with some of the other characters from Dumplin' in the book. It was an adorable and funny read, but I just wanted and expected more.
Profile Image for Julie .
874 reviews273 followers
April 9, 2018
I don't have time to talk about everything this book means to me, but I need every single person on the planet to read it.
Profile Image for Sam.
172 reviews3 followers
September 21, 2018
This book, was by far, better than Dumplin'. Dumplin' wasn't a bad book by any means, but Puddin' happened to be so much better.
Millie was awesome, and I loved her as a narrator. It was nice to see what she was thinking, and how she felt about things. She wanted that journalism spot, and when she didn't get it, she didn't quit (although Callie was the one who really helped her) and she went to Austin, TX, and she got that spot.
I hated Callie in Dumplin', but this book really gave me some perspective. Callie was actually kind of amazing. Her standing up for Millie was great. And I really, really ended up rooting for her. I happy she quit the dance team, even if she didn't get to partake in nationals with the other girls, she still helped in the end by getting them more funding.
I loved that Ellen, Willowdean, Hannah, and Amanda were still in the book, even if the did play small rolls in story, they were still there, and that's what counts.
Amanda being a asexual was surprising, but not un-welcomed, on top of that Hannah's a lesbian with a girlfriend, and Callie's sister is a lesbian with a girlfriend. All good things.
I believe there should be a third book called Muffin' with maybe Hannah as a narrator? With Amanda, or Ellen?
Great book! 5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Madison.
651 reviews363 followers
March 31, 2018
I feel really sad about this book. Dumplin' was one of the best books I read last year, and I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy of the sequel. However, while Dumplin' was fresh and exciting, Puddin' was meandering, trite, and boring. The overly cutesy feel-good ending and two unneccessary, forced romances essentially decimated the fun, colorful world of the first book. While Murphy crafts excellent, funny, believeable characters, she let the plot of this one completely unravel into essentially nothing. There's barely any story driving this book forward, and I was as emotionally invested in it as I am in a detergent commercial.

Murphy usually writes lovely, character-driven stories, but the characters drove this one right into the ground. I'm really disappointed.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,289 reviews35 followers
May 25, 2022
4.5 rounded up
I read the first book years ago and recently saw the movie. I didn't realize there was another book with these characters. I really enjoyed this one; it focuses on Millie and hits all the spots. It was a quick read and would be a great beach read.
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