Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy- A book review

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy- A book review

Dumplin’ has been on my book shelf forever now. And I can’t understand how I didn’t read it already, especially with all the praises the book and the movie got. Anyway, did it fare well on my reading scale? Read my book review of Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy right away.

About Dumplin’

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy book cover

Book Name: Dumplin’

Author: Julie Murphy

Genre: Fiction – RomanceYoung adult

Characters: Willowdean Dickson (Dumplin’), Ellen, Bo Larson, Mitch

Setting: Clover City, Texas, The USA

Plot Summary of Dumplin’

Willowdean is the “resident fat girl” (her own words) and is quite happy in her own body – mostly. With her best friend Ellen, a conventional beauty, by her side she doesn’t care much about others opinion her body, including her mother’s – a former beauty queen herself.

But she is more than surprised to find that her crush, Bo Larson, likes her back. She needs some validation as doubts about her body creep into her mind. Of course she has to do something Will would never dare to do, normally.

With some more unlikely candidates on tow, she signs up for the Miss Clover City beauty pageant to show herself and the others that she deserves to a spot as much as every other girl there.

Does she get the boy? More importantly, does she get her much deserved space in the beauty pageantry? You will have to read Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy to know more.

Book review of Dumplin’

First of all, I loved Willowdean, mostly. I loved that she is flawed yet strong and so well developed. Actually, none of the characters in the book are flawless or perfect. Most of them are dimensional and etched out.

I understand the insecurities that Will faces all through her life and why she reacts the way she does (a bit self centered) at times. And it totally worked for me, especially since “losing her weight” or “romance/a boy” were not prescribed as the solutions.

I loved the complicated mother-daughter relationship and how differently each person handles the grief over a losing someone beloved. I kept waiting for Will to shout at her mother for being so pushy about the diet and losing weight, though it would have been a bit cliché.

On the other hand, I didn’t like how she treats her friends and boy friends at all. She was being too mean and inconsiderate to her new friends, in general and it was not addressed in the book.

Secondly that the resolution was quite abrupt.
Spoiler I found it a little odd that Ellen and Will made up so easily at the pageant, out of nowhere. They could have done it any time. I wish it took more than a speech to solve that issue.

What worked for me

  • I loved the whole Dolly Parton fan theme. Many song references went over my head, but on the whole I enjoyed reading about it.
  • Most of the characters in Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy were flawed and fully fleshed out. And I really liked that.
  • I also liked the complicated mother daughter relationship dynamic.

What may have been better

  • I particularly disliked how Will treated others, especially her new friends.
  • This book has a triangular love story. So if you hate that trope, beware.

Content warning

Body shaming, bullying, Fat shaming, grieving the death of a beloved, forced diet and weight loss (mentioned)

Bottom line

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is a light contemporary read which is (mostly) body positive and sends a powerful message. It is perfect for both young and adult readers.

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Have you read Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy? Did you enjoy the movie more than the book (gasp)? What are your other favorite books that talk about body positivity? Let us talk.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy- A book review

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

It has been a while since I have loved a book unconditionally and I am glad that I heeded to everyone raving about Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. Go on to read my book review to see what worked for me.

About Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a life, Chloe Brown book review cover

Book Name: Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Author: Talia Hibbert

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Chloe Brown, Redford “Red” Morgan

Setting: Nottinghamshire, England, The UK

Plot Summary of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown just had a close brush with death which made her reassess her life choices. She moves out of her loving family home and “get a life”. She makes a list of things that she wants to do, whatever her chronic pain and fibromyalgia might allow her to do.

Redford “Red” Morgan is done with all the posh and society life in London, and content with being a building superintendent and painting for himself. He is hurt and hesitant to let in anyone, especially those remind him of his ex.

When they two meet, they dislike each other almost immediately. They dislike what the other embodies and do not hesitate to show their disapproval.

Does Chloe get a life and do they give each other a chance form the rest of the story in Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert.

Book review of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown is my first Talia Hibbert book and I enjoyed every page of it.

Chloe is an absolute delight to read about. She loves her family but is mildly annoyed that they are over protective. She understands her health issues and her shortcomings. But instead of letting it define her, she understands what works and what doesn’t for her.

Reading how harmful an emotionally abusive relationship can be, from a male’s point of view was eye opening. Seeing how it changed Red was heartbreaking and so well written and he has become one of my favorite fictional male leads in a long time.

I loved how the author made her characters equally vulnerable and strong. Most of adult romances make one of their leads strong and the other vulnerable, and they become codependent. But neither of them do that in Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

I can’t wait to read about the Brown sisters in Talia Hibbert’s other books.

What worked for me

  • Both Red and Chloe have strong personalities and they are both hurt. I loved how independent, yet vulnerable they both were.
  • Talia Hibbert’s witty writing had me laughing loud at so many places. And she was as sensitive and respectful when she handled the emotional issues. She will definitely be one of my favorite authors of the year!
  • Representation matters. I do not have chronic illness, nor do I fall into any other category that these characters represent. But I have so many people on the Bookstagram and from the blogging world who say they felt represented.

What may have been better


Content warning

Chronic pain and fibromyalgia, Emotional abuse and gaslighting, PG sexual content

Bottom line

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert is a well written contemporary romance with wonderful characters that will stay with you even after you finish reading it. Plus one for the diverse (fat, Black) representations!

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Is Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert on your TBR? How did you like it, if you have read already? What was your latest romance read? Let us talk.

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