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Jan'19: Dumplin' > January 13th: Chapter 1-31 Discussion Pt.1

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message 1: by Vinny, Moderator (last edited Dec 24, 2018 04:51AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vinny (filmandfiction) | 28 comments Mod
Hey Divers!

This is the thread for the bi-monthly discussion. The first part of this discussion will be held on January 13, 2019 throughout the day! :)

Considering that everyone might be reading this book on various platform (physical book, e-book, audiobook, free app, etc), we divide the books based on chapters instead of pages. In this first part of discussion, we will discuss Chapter 1-31. It will be spoilery for those chapters only, so considered yourself warned!

Thanks, Divers!
--Lili & Vinny


thelibraryofalexandra (thelibraryofalexandraa) | 10 comments Hi everyone!!!!

Ok so, I am really enjoying reading this book! I am liking the way Murphy writes and Willowdean is pretty fierce haha.

But one character that is pushing my buttons, and I think I’ve said this before, is Ellen! Is anyone else finding her to be annoying and just not a good friend for Willowdean? I kind of find her selfish.

I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts!

Allie


message 3: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
allieereads wrote: "Hi everyone!!!!

Ok so, I am really enjoying reading this book! I am liking the way Murphy writes and Willowdean is pretty fierce haha.

But one character that is pushing my buttons, and I think I’..."


Same thoughts about Ellen. There are so many scenes I found her to be insensitive of what Willowdean might feel or even think. AT first, I thought maybe because they're already too comfortable with each other coz they've been friends for so long. But then it keeps happening and by the time they joined the pageant, Im already disliking her.


Michael Chrobak (mchrobakauthor) | 17 comments Honestly, I like Ellen. I think she knows that Will is kinda faking her strength so she doesn’t appear weak, when in reality she is ready to crack. I think she is the catalyst that is going to spark Willowdean’s growth in the second half.

The character I want to have a stern talking to is Will’s mom. Oh Ehm Gee that woman needs to wake up and start supporting her daughter. Like, WTF? Who cares that Will doesn’t have the body image of a beauty pageant queen? The girl has so much depth to her personality and so much more to offer the world than just another pageant queen.

And...I want to take out behind the woodshed is Bo. He’s a fool and he needs someone to set his butt straight. He also does NOT deserve Will. Not the way he’s behaving now anyway. Ugh...I hate guys like him.


message 5: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Honestly, I like Ellen. I think she knows that Will is kinda faking her strength so she doesn’t appear weak, when in reality she is ready to crack. I think she is the catalyst that is going to spar..."

About Will, I think she's really faking her strength at least maybe after her aunt Lucy died. Based on her internal monologues, it seemed like she treated Lucy as her ultimate ally and losing her took some of her strengths.


message 6: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Honestly, I like Ellen. I think she knows that Will is kinda faking her strength so she doesn’t appear weak, when in reality she is ready to crack. I think she is the catalyst that is going to spar..."

As much as I like Bo, I can't deny the fact that he's doing it wrong right now... He needs to step up which I think is possible for his character since it's still early for character development.

Also I love how the romance is just a background in the story. :)


Michael Chrobak (mchrobakauthor) | 17 comments Yes, Bo does still have opportunity to redeem himself, but he’s gonna have to really bring it. Like really, really bring it.

And I agree on the Lucy thing. She was most likely Will’s hero and losing her had to be hard.


message 8: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Yes, Bo does still have opportunity to redeem himself, but he’s gonna have to really bring it. Like really, really bring it.

And I agree on the Lucy thing. She was most likely Will’s hero and los..."


Do you also see something wrong on Will. Sometimes I find her hypocrite... or is it just me? hehe


Michael Chrobak (mchrobakauthor) | 17 comments I think that comes from the fact that her ‘strength’ is really no more than castles built of sand. She sees herself as being confident, strong, and assertive because she doesn’t want to realize how fragile she is. And I think Ellen sees this and is pushing Wilowdean to the point where she is going to have to find her true strength. I think she sees that Will can be so much more than she sees in herself and the only way to get her to see it is to make her face it.
The only problem with my theory is that these behaviors aren’t really ‘YA’ type behaviors, or at least, they are usually far more mature than what the typical high school student displays.


thelibraryofalexandra (thelibraryofalexandraa) | 10 comments That's true! I do hope Willowdean becomes more willing to accept her role. I do though, think that her inner strength is not completely a superficial assertion. When she realised how Bo made her feel in terms of how she perceived her own body, she acknowledged her emotional turmoil and said 'to hell with that feeling, I don't want to feel that feeling, I'm a queen' and her actions currently are a testament to that. I think she's uncomfortable with the concept of other people thinking she's making a 'statement'. She's not doing the pageant completely because she wants to make a social/cultural claim - it's, fundamentally, for herself - with others just adding themselves on. I think that aspect of the situation is where Willowdean is feeling a bit like she's an imposter, she doesn't see herself as some sort of role model.

As for Ellen - I'm hoping she redeems herself. I didn't really enjoy her from the start. Actions that she may conceive as pushing Willowdean out of her comfort zone are made redundant when she pretends ignorance when others mock her for her body. Willowdean wanted to do the pageant for herself, to BE herself and show that she can do it and feel wonderful and beautiful no matter what; but Ellen, I don't think, really understood that it wasn't a movement, but something her friend needed to do for her own well-being. Ellen wanted to make a statement. Willowdean didn't.

But I'm really excited to see how Willowdean grows into her role, and her journey of self-love and friendship! anD WILLOWDEAN'S MOTHER IS FRUSTRATION JUST BE THERE FOR YOUR DAUGHTER OMG!!! I COMPLETELY AM WITH YOU THERE MICHAEL how can a mother be like that?!!!!

xx


message 11: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
allieereads wrote: "That's true! I do hope Willowdean becomes more willing to accept her role. I do though, think that her inner strength is not completely a superficial assertion. When she realised how Bo made her fe..."

You stated it so clearly Allie.

It's a good thing we're only halfway through the book so there's still plenty of chance for these characters to change or realize what they really want. :)

For me, one of the worst things that Ellen did was when she talked to Callie about her relationship with Willow. I totally understand Willow's reaction when Ellen said, Callie is right, .... something like that. If she has problems with Willow, they should talk about it, just between the two of them. It felt like a betrayal.

And I found Willow's hypocrisy through her inner monologues when she describes other people. For example:

I’m fat, but Millie’s the type of fat that requires elastic waist pants because they don’t make pants with buttons and zippers in her size. Her eyes are too close together and her nose pinches up at the end. She wears shirts with puppies and kittens and not in an ironic way.

When she says it like that, though she's being honest, it kinda disagree with the message the book is trying to convey. But I don't take this as totally negative for Willow because Ii totally understand her stand or where she's coming from with all her thoughts.

I've been fat in high school and bullied because of it. It's so hard not to be bitter about it. And when you feel like that, it's easy to say or think things without realizing it's wrong. Also it's easy to think that everyone's laughing at you and that all the people, especially new people will judge you coz they only see your 'fat' body. That scene when Willow and Callie first met, at the pool, I was so mad at Ellen and almost cry coz I know how exactly Willow was feeling.

So I think this book managed to be so realistic, not only in outward aspects, but most importantly in showing Willow's inner feelings and thoughts.


message 12: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
allieereads wrote: "That's true! I do hope Willowdean becomes more willing to accept her role. I do though, think that her inner strength is not completely a superficial assertion. When she realised how Bo made her fe..."

And ugh!!!!!yeah her mother. This was surprising for me coz I thought her mother would be more supportive based on the trailer of the movie.


message 13: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Jordan ‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Fairy Tales & Tea☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙ wrote: "allieereads wrote: "Hi everyone!!!!

Ok so, I am really enjoying reading this book! I am liking the way Murphy writes and Willowdean is pretty fierce haha.

But one character that is pushing my but..."


I'm learning through all the imputs... I'm enjoying our discussions.

I think this book started already with the inciting incident which is Will losing her aunt, one of her strengths, and so we are introduced to Willowdean as somewhat scared that she's being left alone which is why she's being possessive to Ellen.

It would be really awesome if Ellen and Willow ended up in good terms again with Ellen assuring Willow, they will always have each other's back no matter what.


message 14: by Lili , Moderator (last edited Jan 13, 2019 12:32AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Honestly, I like Ellen. I think she knows that Will is kinda faking her strength so she doesn’t appear weak, when in reality she is ready to crack. I think she is the catalyst that is going to spar..."

Jordan ‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Fairy Tales & Tea☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙ wrote: "Michael wrote: "I think that comes from the fact that her ‘strength’ is really no more than castles built of sand. She sees herself as being confident, strong, and assertive because she doesn’t wan..."

I think by the end of this book we'll see different character developments through all these characters, specifically the 4 MCs: Willow, Ellen, Bo, and her mother.

I think the author is trying to show how each character affect/influence each other. They're really different, everyone is distinctive from the other.

Willow who's fat and bullied but trying to make a statement.
Ellen who's always been thin and never really went through
Willow's experiences.
The Mother who's been fat but worked hard to be thin coz she
thought that's the right thing to do and that's what she
wanted. And she got a crown for it.
Bo who doesn't even know what he wants.

I think they'll learn from each other a thing or two about life by the end of the book. I say this book has an amazing ensemble of characters.,..


message 15: by Vinny, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vinny (filmandfiction) | 28 comments Mod
allieereads wrote: "Hi everyone!!!!

Ok so, I am really enjoying reading this book! I am liking the way Murphy writes and Willowdean is pretty fierce haha.

But one character that is pushing my buttons, and I think I’..."


I'm completely agree with you, Allie! At first, I thought she'd be the cool and supportive best friend. But as the chapters goes, I saw more and more of her insensitivity towards Will and it's driving me crazy. I feel like I'm about to scream when she's being so oblivious of Will's insecurity during the pageant registration.


message 16: by Vinny, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vinny (filmandfiction) | 28 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Honestly, I like Ellen. I think she knows that Will is kinda faking her strength so she doesn’t appear weak, when in reality she is ready to crack. I think she is the catalyst that is going to spar..."

I'm with you about Will's mom, Michael! Honestly, what on earth is wrong with this woman? Her obsession about the pageant and being thin is so unhealthy, especially now that it affects her relationship with her daughter. I'm glad Will snapped on her and called out her bullshit.



message 17: by Vinny, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vinny (filmandfiction) | 28 comments Mod
Lili wrote: "Michael wrote: "Honestly, I like Ellen. I think she knows that Will is kinda faking her strength so she doesn’t appear weak, when in reality she is ready to crack. I think she is the catalyst that ..."

YES! You can clearly see that Lucy was a huge part of Will's life and her death has a big impact on Will. And despite of her death, Lucy is so far my favorite character in the book. She's so wise and warm and loving towards Will. Something that Will's mom is not capable to do.


message 18: by Vinny, Moderator (last edited Jan 13, 2019 01:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vinny (filmandfiction) | 28 comments Mod
When I started the book, I think I have positive reaction for almost every characters. I found childhood friendship to be super cute and the way Ellen behave on earlier chapters was great. Even though later when she started hanging out with Callie, I started to dislike her acts towards Will.

I'm agree with Lili about Will's hypocrisy towards Millie. However, I found this to be natural and realistic, because sometimes we can't control what comes up in our mind but we can control what comes out from our mouth. Although, I'm not saying that it's a right thing to do. Also, I like the fact that Will was being very observant of her surrounding and how she saved Millie from getting bullied.

As for Bo, he started off as a pretty nice dude. But as the story goes, I just can't stand him and his inability to communicate with Will. Perhaps it's still too early to judge him and we still have too little information about his background story, but I hope he develop and become a better character.

And so far, Lucy is my favorite character! I know, I know, she's passed away, and probably doesn't count as an actual character, but I can't help the warm feeling that I got from the way Will remembering past moments with her.

As for Will's mom... Does anyone remember on Chapter 2 where she said getting catcalled to be flattering? Nope. Just nope. She's cancelled.


message 19: by Kate Ashley (new) - added it

Kate Ashley (allthetrinkets) | 3 comments I finished the entire book in two days haha! And I had to reread chapter 31 because all the events are kinda mush in my brain now.

BUT ANYWAY

Vinny wrote: "When I started the book, I think I have positive reaction for almost every characters. I found childhood friendship to be super cute and the way Ellen behave on earlier chapters was great. Even tho..."

I'm with Vinny here! I love how all the characters were introduced. A childhood friendship is absolutely cute, but I also love that realistic portrayal in the book. Because they did start liking different things and hang out with different people. Ellen being oblivious to what Will is going through is also believable for me because, well... she's never experienced that certain brand of insecurities that Will has experienced her entire life.

Can I just say, though, Mitch is such a sweetpea!!! I love how he's a jock but he isn't one of those stereotypical jocks in movies and contemps where they don't exactly acquaint themselves with nerds and "outsiders".

My favorite character so far, though, is Millie. She exudes positivity SOOO MUCH. I'm inspired by her <3


Misty's Book Space (mistysbookspace) I actually found Will to be annoying. Ellen is there to support Will and the moment Will notices that Ellen might be enjoying herself she tells her she needs to drop out because she has a chance of winning which I find selfish on Wills part. I mean what does it matter if Ellen wins? Wills supposedly not trying to make a statement she’s just doing it for herself. Whether Ellen wins or one of the other girls win it’s going to be a skinny girl. I think Will could have been a little more supportive. I do agree that Ellen needs to be handling things a little differently though. They’ve been friends for forever so they should be pretty good at talking to each other. At least that’s the impression that I get up until the point where things fall apart.

I actually really like Bo but I do think he needs to go about this whole thing in a different way.

I finished this forever ago so I’m going to leave it at that so I don’t spoil anything.


message 21: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Vinny wrote: "When I started the book, I think I have positive reaction for almost every characters. I found childhood friendship to be super cute and the way Ellen behave on earlier chapters was great. Even tho..."

So weird isn't it? That Lucy is by far the most liked character even though she's already dead. But we can see the good influennce she had on Will. :)


message 22: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Kate Ashley wrote: "I finished the entire book in two days haha! And I had to reread chapter 31 because all the events are kinda mush in my brain now.

BUT ANYWAY

Vinny wrote: "When I started the book, I think I have..."


This is what I said too.... :) :) Will can be annoying but her reactions and thoughts are realistic. I understand where she's coming from. :)

Lol, I hate love triangles but having Mitch in the story is nice. I like him too. And I really hope Will gives herself a chance to befriend others too and let Ellen do the same. I mean they're still best friends but it won't hurt if they also hang out with others. Ellen with her workmates and Will with Millie. I think they can be great friends. Millie can give Will some positivity. hehe.


message 23: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Misty wrote: "I actually found Will to be annoying. Ellen is there to support Will and the moment Will notices that Ellen might be enjoying herself she tells her she needs to drop out because she has a chance of..."

I think Will should or must learn to stop being so negative. And if I'm remembering correctly she said she has nothing and that the pageant is all she can have, like Ellen should give it to her. But I understand why she believes that. Ugh I felt BETRAYED when it turned out that Ellen have been talking to Callie about her relationship with Will.


message 24: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Misty wrote: "I actually found Will to be annoying. Ellen is there to support Will and the moment Will notices that Ellen might be enjoying herself she tells her she needs to drop out because she has a chance of..."

Lol, at first Bo is my ideal guy in YA. He's clearly not an asshole and I can see the hints of him liking Will but as the story goes, I wanna shake him and tell him he should figure out what he really wants. Will has plenty on her plates already and if he's gonna act like he does, and be confusing, he's not helping Will.


Kamisha (kamishamish) | 1 comments A bit late to the discussion because of work, but I’m honestly really enjoying reading this! Contemporary isn’t usually what I like to read, so I was a bit surprised by how much I’m enjoying this!

I think this book definitely plays with a lot of different content and issues, but I love that about YA in general. So much angst! A lot of the reactions of the characters, while they can definitely be problematic, read pretty accurately for that age.

I appreciated the aspect of Willowdean’s Aunt Lucy being like an additional side character. It really brings the dynamic between her and her mother into question in Lucy’s absence.

Also the girls at Ellen’s workplace are the worst. 😑


message 26: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Kamisha wrote: "A bit late to the discussion because of work, but I’m honestly really enjoying reading this! Contemporary isn’t usually what I like to read, so I was a bit surprised by how much I’m enjoying this! ..."

Hi Kamisha... Still thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love contemporary but personally, I stay away from YA. But like you I'm enjoying this one. I can even call it very refreshing, which I think, like you said, because it has different topic and issues. And very realistic, yes. I was fat in high school and bullied because of it, so even though there are times I get annoyed at Will, I understand her or where she's coming from. :) :) :)

I really hope we get to meet Lucy alive but still, the author's writing is amazing that Lucy' character seem so alive on pages. She's an important character.


Jayati (justacoffeeaddictedbibliophile) | 2 comments I think the character I like best so far is Lucy because I can see how much she touched Willowdean's life.


message 28: by Lili , Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lili  Marcus (lilikmarcus) | 91 comments Mod
Jayati wrote: "I think the character I like best so far is Lucy because I can see how much she touched Willowdean's life."

Hi Jayati.. Same here... I really hope we'd met her alive in the book. :)


thelibraryofalexandra (thelibraryofalexandraa) | 10 comments Yes, I adore Lucy’s character and I so enjoy learning more about her!


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