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Hot Dog Girl

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Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She's landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou's never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who's always been up for anything, suddenly isn't when it comes to Lou's quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou's scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland--ever--unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan's sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love--and themselves--in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published April 30, 2019

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About the author

Jennifer Dugan

18 books1,235 followers
Jennifer Dugan is a writer, geek, and romantic who writes the kinds of stories she wishes she had growing up. In addition to being a young adult novelist, she is also the writer/creator of two indie comics. She lives in New York with her family, dogs, and an evil cat that is no doubt planning to take over the world.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,637 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
May 24, 2019
I love love loved the setting of this book, but the plot/characters really needed work. I felt like this book played into the stereotype that bisexual women only date girls to get the attention of guys and I was just.. not about it. Plus on top of that, this was my second book of the month that revolved really heavily around cheating and I'm pretty over it tbh. BLAH.

If you want to hear Kassie and I talk more in detail about this, the Sassy Book Club live-show will be tonight (Fri 5/24) on my channel at 7pm PST.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,754 followers
May 15, 2019
F/F FAKE DATING! Great summer vibes!

I was a little irritated with Eloise constantly drooling over a guy who already had a girlfriend, but that was really just the catalyst for the main events in this book. The friendship, fake dating, moral struggles, and amusement park setting were all things I really loved.

This does include f/f fake dating to catch the interest of a straight guy, but I really liked that it's addressed as soon as it's brought up. The idea of Nick only being into her because of seeing her with another girl is shot down pretty quickly.

The only thing I didn't like was there was a brief mention toward the end about how losing weight was the only way a character felt good about themselves and was perceived as hot.

Audiobook review: 5 stars. This was one of my favorite audiobooks of this year. Brittany Pressley narrates with emotion and personality. She knows the proper timing to deliver humor, anger, sadness. And there are a few texting scenes that had added sound effects. I wish every audiobook would do that to portray texting exchanges!

tw: cheating, death of a grandparent
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,524 followers
June 10, 2019
actual rating: 2.5 stars

No one talk to me. No one touch me. I'm frustrated and disappointed.


This one has to be the worst tho. There are exactly two things i liked about Hot Dog Girl:
1/ Lou's dad
2/ the last couple chapters when everything FINALLY fell into place.

The rest? Nope. Eloise was infuriating, she kept using her best friend not even looking back enough to consider her feelings, she wanted to break up a couple just because she wanted the guy and "and they don't look that in love anyway" "if i succeed then they weren't a good match anyway" and she kept going for it even when she wasn't that interest in the guy as a romantic prospect anymore??? I'm. UGH. JUST UGH.

I'm gonna go to sleep.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,472 reviews1,890 followers
February 10, 2019
Crap crap crap crap. <-- what was running through my head the further into this I got as I realized this book was not working for me or what I thought it would be

I wanted to love this. From the moment I saw the title and the cover, I wanted to love this so much. It seemed quirky and fun and cute and I wanted it in my face so I could make heart-eyes at it forever. But.

Other than having a bisexual main character, there was.. like.. nothing else I liked? I loathed the myriad of stupid scheming Lou concocted, all of which she roped in or forced her BFF to carry out, I hated the underhanded and really icky ulterior motives in the whole romantic plot that drove the majority of the story, and overall I just found pretty much all the people in the friend group really unlikeable. Or at least not people I could root for. Only the oblivious crush and Lou's best friend came out ontop, really. And by that I mean they were characters I could care about if not for their association with other, multiple, nonsense people. And had I been them, I would've washed my hands of all of it and everyone. Brutal.

Dugan's debut has some good representation and what should have been a fun setting.. but unfortunately I was left feeling pretty letdown by everything that, well, went down.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,496 followers
December 16, 2018
Reading this just made me so happy for everyone who's been dying for more excellent f/f YA romcoms. THIS WAS SO CUTE AND I ADORED IT.
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,062 followers
December 23, 2019
sometimes you have to read books you know you’ll hate because they’ll be quick reads for your goodreads challenge...... and sometimes your plan completely backfires and it takes you a week to read it (and you hated it)
Profile Image for Jaye Berry.
1,392 reviews129 followers
April 25, 2019
This book is like if you dropped a hot dog on the ground and let it get stepped on for three days before you picked it back up and then ate it.

Hot Dog Girl is the story of Elouise (Lou) who is determined to have the best summer of her life. That is before she is assigned to be the dancing hot dog (again) at the local amusement park she loves, and finds out the park will close at the end of the summer. Lou has a big crush on the park's pirate diver Nick, so when she hatches a scheme to get closer to him, her best friend Seely can't help but go along. Even though Nick is dating the park's princess, Lou feels something between them and can't let it go.

Oh boy, where do I even begin? The writing in this book was just plain bad. It was so cringy and it tries so hard to be snarky and funny but just ends up being more cringy instead of even quirky. If Lou's actions weren't awful enough, her bitchy thoughts about everyone else (especially about Jessa, the girl her crush is dating) were worse. Lou is terrible. While the thought of queer rep was nice, it was handled so badly, and it took so long to even happen.

Lou has a big crush on some cute boy at the park. What does she do? Pretends to date her female best friend and hang out with him and his girlfriend to make him jealous?? Even characters IN this book have no idea how that would even work. Lou makes constant assumptions even though she knows nothing about Jessa, and every single thought was just rude. Lou even gets MAD at Jessa for rightfully being upset about the whole situation. This is 2019, I thought we were done writing books with pointless girl hate?

Everything she does to get to Nick was super rude, and none of this scheme was cute. Lou is so amazingly dumb too. Gee I wonder why her best friend would be mad at her! Could she possibly have a crush? Could she just be mad that fake dating someone just to break up another couple and get with the boy is awful? Who knows! Lou even blows up at her super nice and chill dad for no reason. Even when she is trying to save the park from closing, it's still all about her. She has issues and I hate her.

This book had such a cute premise, and it had so much promise but nothing in here worked out and that's a shame.
Profile Image for Ness (Vynexa).
503 reviews118 followers
May 14, 2019
I will be keeping this review non-spoiler due to my rant review for this book being full of spoilers

Elouise has a crush on Nick. Nick has a girlfriend who is a princess while Elouise is a hot dog.
Elouise makes some stupid decisions, takes best friend Seeley down with her.
Elouise is frustrating.

What we were sold in the synopsis is not what we were given in this novel. By the summary, I thought that this was going to be a story about a girl who was finding herself. But that’s not what it turned out to be.

Elouise is a young bi girl who has trauma from her childhood that has never been dealt with, so in turn she treats the people in her life terribly and never takes no for an answer.
She wants things to always go her way instead of accepting things as they are when they have nothing to do with her.

Elouise makes a decision to get the attention of a boy who is in a committed relationship and drags her best friend with her. Seeley deserves better in life, honestly.

If you are a fan of Becky Albertalli’s novels, a fan of bad bisexual representation and like little to no diversity, Hot Dog Girl is the book for you. 🙂

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
Want to read
August 22, 2021
I never knew a book with a girl dressed as a hotdog on the cover would be something I needed in my life.

Alas, I do NEED THIS. Look how beautiful it is; with the pink and purple and the hotdog. Delicious.

Profile Image for Astra.
42 reviews23 followers
September 19, 2023
The story was heartfelt and it made me laugh at times. But no way did I fall in love with this book. There were plenty of times were I could predict the plot and plenty of times where it just fell short.
Profile Image for Kylie Amber.
206 reviews76 followers
January 9, 2020
This book was a very sweet read.
Def had its problematic points though.
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
602 reviews812 followers
May 1, 2019
4 stars


also I got a bit teary in the climax brb
Profile Image for Lindsay♫SingerOfStories♫.
763 reviews93 followers
June 16, 2019
Despite this quirky title and odd little cover, I am so glad I picked up this book! I don't always go for books within the trope of girl-crushing-on-boy-who-already-has-girlfriend, but if there ever was a case of an author handling it very well, this is the prime example. In the beginning of the book, Elouise (Lou) did get just a bit obnoxious with her obsessive escapades (nee 'hero complex') to save the park when everyone else thought it was none of her business and no one else considered it a problem. At that point, she just came off whiny and annoying. However, it does all come to a big all happy ending.

To be honest, there are a few happy endings in a few ways for several characters and that's really what makes this book. I really felt this book read great. I didn't have any problems with the pacing, with any of the characters or anything like that. Great summer (or anytime) read, great lgbtqia+ rep, really strong all around!
Profile Image for Linn.
63 reviews16 followers
January 29, 2020
What always kept me from buying and reading this book were the bad reviews on goodreads. Luckily someone recommended it to me and I listened to them, because I loved this SO much.
This is the sweet, funny, awkward and totally adorable f/f YA romcom we all knew we needed... and now we finally have it! 😂
I laughed so much, couldn't put the book down and rooted for the romance!

Lou tries very hard to make this last summer the best summer possible. Yet she ends up as the Hot Dog at Playland, the amusement park she wants to safe. But she can have a good time no matter what. And then there's Nick, the boy she's in love with, who has a girlfriend, and her best friend Seeley, who ends up playing the mainrole in one of Lous shemings... but somehow nothing goes as planed.

First of all: I LOVE our main Lou. Yes, she is a total mess, but in the best way possible. She is self-centred, makes bad decisions, speaks what's on her mind and makes mistakes! She's anything but perfect and I loved that about her.
Her development was one of my favorite parts of this book. It is great to see a character grow throughout a story. She's also passionate, loving and emotional and I adored her.

But not only Lou, also all the other characters felt really real and raw to me. I loved both, Seeley and Nick, to pieces.
And the Single Dad representation? So well done. It was really nice to read about a soft, caring and loving Dad, who does an incredible job.

The story itself was everything I could have wished for. And the romance? Lzfzflkfzifzf. All my dreams come true, I swear! 😂 This was so, so sweet to read. I rooted so much for these two and I'm so happy that we have these cute, queer girl stories now. I think this is very much needed representation.

But this book polarized on social media and though I get why and understand that it maybe isn't for everyone, I think the author handled these topics, people are writing about, really well. Lou gets called out for probelmatic behavior, everything gets adressed and therefore I was fine with it.

All in all this book quickly became a favorite of mine and I totally adore it. I'd recommend it to everyone who wants to read a happy, queer book, with a little angst and a main who is loveable, but also messes up.
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,154 reviews1,466 followers
August 10, 2019
Such a cute sweet queer rom com! Bisexual Elouise lives in a small town that revolves around an old nostalgic amusement where all the teens have summer jobs. Teens include her crush Nick, her lesbian BFF Seeley, and Jessa the park princess / Nick's gf. Elouise is trying one last time to get Nick's attention and to save the park when she learns it's being closed. Including fake dating Seeley. You all know what fake dating leads to... (although actually I feel like Dugan could have leaned into the fun parts about this trope more). A bit melodramatic and angsty, but I think that's to be expected? Great as an audiobook!
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
1,014 reviews530 followers
April 9, 2020
Our main protagonist Elouise is super problematic - this girl is not quirky she’s meddlesome and so wrapped up in herself.

The actual romance in this book was in the last two chapters - it was cute but Seeley deserved way better.

Elouise and Jessa were equally annoying characters who the author tried to pit one against the other but both were shit.
Profile Image for Danika at The Lesbrary.
527 reviews1,333 followers
July 24, 2019
Cute! Fake dating, love pentagon. A perfect summer read. Lou can be a little frustrating, but that's always what's charming about her. There is some angst, but mostly this is a quick and engrossing read. I was counting down to the time I could get back to reading it.
Profile Image for John Gilbert.
926 reviews102 followers
December 10, 2021
How could you not like a book named Hot Dog Girl.

Lou is spending her second summer dressed up as a hot dog, entertaining all the kiddies at the amusement park in her home town. She is wanting to have a relationship with her crush Nick who is a diver at the park, but he already has a girlfriend, so she enlists her bestest friend for forever Seely to help her by pretending to be in a relationship so Nick will notice her more. And Lou's Mom deserted her and her Dad many years ago, so there is a lot going on in her life. When she discovers the park will be closing forever at the end of the summer, she has a plan.

Nice story, nice group of friends and adults and fun was had by all, with the hot dog girl.
Profile Image for ivy francis.
546 reviews28 followers
July 3, 2019
Full review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...


“I know I don’t have the face of a woman who walks into an office and demands answers - I have the face of a girl trying to be too many things at once.”

Hot Dog Girl was bright and refreshing, not a perfect novel but pretty darn close to one. Jennifer Dugan is practically a master of character voice and emotion, creating unique teens that still did fairly relatable things. Every aspect of every romance was handled with care and made sense and the queer aspects were eventually celebrated, which was nice. Hot Dog Girl is the perfect summer romance, with just the right amount of trivial filler to be enjoyable but packed with enough heart for any seriously sappy teenager. Rating: four *meaningful looks*/five

For fans of: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli, Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

Favorite quotes:
- “I’m not too big for this town, Dad. I never will be.”
- “I flick my eyes to the spot on her shoulder where her freckles match the constellations in the sky, and I smile. I get lost in her skin, sipping my drink and mapping the stars on her arm while everyone else talks and eats and laughs around me.”
- “And I get it now, I that’s all he could ever be, that’s all anyone else could ever be: a Band-Aid, a butterfly strip, a temporary measure, because this is the after, and all of the good stuff got left behind in the before.”

Pre-order gift! yeah! (actually I just library requested, but that makes it even cooler)
Profile Image for Kelly Hager.
3,102 reviews132 followers
May 8, 2019
I will admit freely that I bought this book because Becky Albertalli blurbed it. (She says it's "funny, joyful, bighearted.") I'm so glad I saw her praise because I love this book SO MUCH.

I also come from a small town, although our amusement park was in the beach city half an hour away. This book was full of summer nostalgia for me (I didn't work there, but I spent a lot of time there over the summers growing up). Even beyond that, I loved Seeley and Elouise so much. Their friendship is actual perfection and the ending? I AM DEAD.

If you want a book that will make you grin like an idiot the whole way through, this is for you. Elouise is delightful (also sarcastic!) and I loved every page.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,068 reviews147 followers
August 18, 2020
A funny, sweet, and surprisingly touching romance

Elouise Parker (known as Lou) wants to have an amazing summer before her senior year of high school. She's ready to work at Magic Castle, her beloved amusement park, with all her friends. But then Lou is assigned as the giant hot dog at Magic Castle--again. Her crush, Nick, works at Magic Castle too (as a diving pirate), but he's dating the girl who plays the Princess. (Seriously.) And Lou's best friend, Seeley, doesn't seem too thrilled about trying to help set up Lou and Nick. Even worse, it turns out this is Lou's last summer--ever--at Magic Castle, which is closing for good after the summer ends. Is there any way Lou can salvage her summer--and find a way to make Nick fall for her?

"But still, there are so many things I have planned for these last few months before we're sucked up in the frenzy of senior year, and playing the hot dog isn't one of them."

It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Lou's mom left when Lou was a kid and Magic Castle means the world to Lou--it's where her parents shared memories and then Lou later on. Its closing devastates her and she's shocked that the owner has no desire to save it. Coupled with her hopeless crush on Nick, Lou is a pool of self-pity in the beginning of the book and, truly, a bit of a downer. (Although, seriously, I wouldn't want to wear a giant hot dog costume at a roasting hot theme park either, so she has me there.)

But once you get into the rhythm of Lou, this is a fun and really lovely book. There's great queer representation, between Lou's lesbian best friend, Seeley and Lou herself, who is bi. Seeley has recently broken up with her girlfriend, so Lou is also determined to set her up (sometimes with disastrous consequences). Setting a book at an amusement park is great. I love theme parks and while this was just a small town place, it was an enjoyable and fun location to read about, especially when it involved a group of teens.

Dugan captures teens really well, too. Lou, Seeley, Nick, his girlfriend--they all jump off the page. They seem real, and I enjoy that they seemed like actual teens. Not disaffected teens, not rich boarding school teens trying to hide a body, but honest teens whom you would actually meet and be friends with.

There were pages where I found myself laughing out loud. As a bi person, I loved having characters I could empathize with and relate to--this book is sweet and heartwarming. Lou's journey (and Seeley's) is great and makes for an excellent read.

Overall, this is a lovely, touching and also humorous read about love, friendship, and teens growing up. 4 stars.

Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+
Profile Image for Emma.
221 reviews122 followers
October 14, 2019
okay, so, I’m going to go ahead and DNF this one. I really, really don’t even know why I read this, so this review will be short and overall pretty meaningless, but I wanted to write this anyways, just because.

basically it’s a book about a girl named Lou who works at an amusement park she’s loved since childhood. unfortunately, she gets cast to play a giant hot dog while everyone else gets to be a princess or something way cooler than being a giant hot dog. and her crush nick is a diving pirate, so obviously how is she ever going to get his attention? especially since he already has a girlfriend Jessa who Lou continuously hates on for no reason except pure jealousy?

I know some people will love how Lou is sarcastic and witty and relatable, but to me she came across as unlikable and selfish. I mean, she totally used her best friend to catch the attention of a guy. how is that not problematic? and yeah everything ends up okay, but I just wasn’t a fan. and nick already has a girlfriend which she keeps trying to justify. but like, you can’t break up a couple, that’s not okay.

ultimately there are so many better reviews than mine, so I’m going to wrap it up now, but honestly the whole pro about this book was that I was 6 books behind challenge instead of 7. But now we’re back to 7 again, so what even was the point?
Profile Image for Sue (BeautyBookCorner).
467 reviews60 followers
December 26, 2019
Our main character Elouise was kind of a hot mess but she is also so sweet and funny. I loved following these characters as they get sucked into her schemes.

As far as the romance, it was pretty clear early on who was endgame. But the whole process of getting there was just so cute! I was smiling throughout the book. Elouise and Seely are BFF goals, Nick is adorkable, and the run-down amusement park was the perfect setting. This is such a feel-good story about first love, friendship, and growing up. I highly recommend!

I knew I wanted to read this as soon as I saw the cover, because if there is anyone who would be chosen to wear the hot dog costume, it would probably be me. No, seriously. I actually walked into a Little Caesar’s to ask if they were hiring for their costume position in high school. I wore a giant banana costume around school for various fundraising events. Good times. If this book reminded me of anything, it’s that there are those who play the princess or prince, and then there are others like Elouise and I who are hot dogs. And that’s okay, because we’re pretty damn good hot dogs.

** Thank you to Edelweiss+ and G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers for giving me a digital ARC for review. **
Profile Image for Marisa.
Author 4 books320 followers
July 21, 2018
There is so much I love about HOT DOG GIRL -- I never wanted to put it down, and when I had to I couldn't wait to pick it back up. Elouise's voice jumps off the page, I want Seeley to be my best friend, and the relationship between Lou & her dad meant so much to me. HOT DOG GIRL delivers the perfect combination of humor & heart and is basically the f/f romcom of my dreams -- this one should be on everyone's 2019 TBR!!
Profile Image for Zoë ☆.
905 reviews178 followers
May 17, 2020
This was supposed to be cute, but instead most of it was jus cringy and uncomfortable to read 😢 I really disliked that the main character just went against everything and everybody 🙄

I’m glad I read Verona Comics first, because I loved that one!! But this one... nah I wouldn’t bother unfortunately 🙈
Profile Image for Kassie.
411 reviews473 followers
May 16, 2019
There were things I L O V E D about this book and things that made me roll my eyes and groan and scoff. Overall I landed on a three because I did think the majority of the characters and the story were cute. I can't wait to discuss this one for SassyBookClub on Chelsea's channel (chelseadolling reads) on May 24th at 7pm PST!
Profile Image for Spartan Ranger ☢.
170 reviews28 followers
August 7, 2020
Hot Dog Girl
J. Dugan, 2019

Everybody seems to think the summer after your senior year is the stuff of legends. That it’s two months of pure teenage bliss or something. It’s almost as if there’s this big conspiracy surrounding it, like, sure, kid, throw your cap in the air, cue up that hit pop song you will definitely hate by fall, and then you, too, will be guaranteed the most epic summer of your life. I mean, we all know that’s now hot it actually goes down, right?

After a long time, I felt like I need something easy to read, something that could have happened to me if I’d lived in the US and would have had real holidays (you don’t actually have holidays when you are at university …). And just at this moment, Hot Dog Girl came out and I wanted to read it right at that very moment! So I did.

But what should I say about the book? You know the game Life is Strange? Reading the book feels a bit like playing the game – without all the supernatural stuff … you know. It was an incredibly well and easy read so that I felt like I am 16 years old and I need to save the park that was and is one of the most important parts of my life! This made the book so much fun. Sometimes I just need a book that is easy to read and that makes me feel good. And this book aboslutely did!

Sure, it’s an often used story but it’s still good – even though the thing about saving the park was built up during the beginning of the story and then was pushed in the background a bit until it finally was solved – in about one page or so? And the characters are great!

The little events in the book – swimming, baking, going to films – are sort of things you always read in this genre and in such books when it comes to a young love, but I did not mind it at all. I would recomment you the book and probably, I will read it again!
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,212 followers
August 11, 2019
This was an adorable fake-dating f/f YA rom com. Lou is an utterly frustrating main character who does a lot of dumb things, but it's so teen, so real, and it's so hard not to root for her. I'm also all about "teens attempting to save a thing they love from their childhood" tropes and this one, with the to-close amusement park in their small town, is a great one.

Bonus to Lou for being vegetarian, for seeing a trip to Target a big deal (she's rural!), and for the sweet relationship between her and her single father.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,637 reviews

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