Jennifer's Reviews > Puddin'

Puddin' by Julie   Murphy
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it was amazing
bookshelves: ya-realistic-fiction

Loved it!

Millie and Callie seemingly have nothing in common. Millie is short, fat, not popular, but has a small circle of friends including her best friend Amanda. She gets made fun of because of her weight, but is comfortable with herself and has an inner confidence and sweetness that is often mistaken for naivete. She simply ignores those who can't accept her, or kills them with kindness.

Callie is thin, pretty, has a popular boyfriend, and is next in line to be captain of the dance team. Though she seems to be part of the popular crowd, in reality she has no real friends because she doesn't let anyone get that close, and she knows what it's like to feel different. She adopts a "mean girl" persona in order to protect herself from getting hurt, and rejects people before they can reject her.

When one night of bad judgement causes their paths to become entertwined, Callie and Millie discover that they have more in common than they ever realized, and bring out qualities in each other they didn't know they had, leading to surprising developments.

This book is part sequel, part companion to Murphy's second novel, Dumplin'. It takes place where the previous book left off, but the focus is on different characters, though the rest of the Dumplin' cast is present as well. While this book does refer to events in the previous one, it can be read on it's own, but I would still recommend reading both because they are so good. In the author's own words, "If Dumplin' was about coming to terms with your own body, Puddin' is about demanding that the world do the same."

I loved this book at least as much as the first, possibly slightly more. I really enjoyed getting to know Millie much better, as well as Callie. I loved seeing how Millie's friendship helped Callie grow and learn she didn't have to play the mean girl and keep everyone at arm's length all the time, even if in real life the mean girls seldom change. The character development of the two main characters was wonderful, and I enjoyed being able to see different sides of them: Millie's ambition and determination, and Callie's softer side in caring about her family.

While there is some drama and romance in this story as well, it is first and foremost about friendship, and learning the difference between real friends and fake ones, and making the decision to be a better version of yourself, realizing you don't have to settle for someone else's stereotype of you.

I highly recommend this book! Though it looks a bit on the longer side, it really was a relatively quick and enjoyable read. Not too serious, but still very real and well-written; a perfect summer read.

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Reading Progress

April 24, 2018 – Shelved
April 24, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 28, 2018 – Started Reading
May 29, 2018 – Shelved as: ya-realistic-fiction
May 29, 2018 – Finished Reading

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