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.

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. Share on X

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.

Book Review: Heaven, Texas

Book Review: Heaven, Texas

What soothes the mind of a gloomy tired lass, on yet another sleepless night? Funny that a sad damsel in distress gets soothed hearing or reading about another one. I felt totally ‘in’ for a whole night read into this grown up version of Mills & Boons.

Yes judge me all you can, but I liked this trashy mushy mushy romance. Not the kind of ‘like’ I would give for a classic but the kind  I can happily give away for a rainy day, a cup of coffee, our own ARR and a mills and boons on the hand.

If it was just a Mills and Boons in hand, I may not have been raving like this, but then it is the whole set up.. sleepless Friday night, no friends to text or chat, that might have done the trick, or maybe the book was ‘really’ good?

Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, #2)

Book: Heaven, Texas

Series: Chicago Stars #02

Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Main Characters: Gracie Snow, Bobby Tom Denton, Phoebe Somerville, Dan Calebow,

Setting: Texas, The USA

A Spoilt brat, male chauvinistic, smooth talking football player turned to a film star and a plain looking heroine with ‘serious serious’ issues of self esteem meet and what happens only in these kind of movies-happen, the ‘am-so-hating-you-because-am-foolish-enough-to-be-attracted-to-you’ !!! Throw in a couple of love/hate scenes – Aah now I am confused whether I hate or like this book..

**Spoiler Alert ** Bobby Tom? Seriously what kind of name is that.. And everyone calling him that, at the beginning of every sentence. Am I the only one who find this name, repulsive??

You might be obsessed with football, but to select or even pretend to select your wife based on a sports quiz? Excuse me, I am too much a feminist to digest this.

You might be a star footballer with a lost career and you need all the sympathy you can get. But if till the end you are going to trod over all the people around you, you are not getting my dose of sympathy. Sorry.

Let me not start about Gracie. I dislike dependent, hate drama queens, loathe self esteemless women. Ok I hate HER 360 degrees. And one more thing, if you are a plain Jane, you are a plain Jane. Live on with it, you are not going to become the most beautiful girl to the one guy. (we all hope we would, but no). If you do, it seems so phony. And ladies, if your guy thinks he has to fix you – he is not worth it!

In fact the more and more I think, the lesser and lesser the logic seems to make sense.


I think I should stop dissecting the plot and critically evaluating the bits. If I do that, you would hate this… no! You would, hate any chick lit.

So if you read this book just like a M & B, a fairy tale or rather leave all your prejudices, egotism and the predatory skills you developed to criticize the other sex (yes that exists, atleast in a few I know. Yap yap, I know I have) and then read this and such other books you would like, maybe even love it.

I loved it – at a time my brain wasn’t working and I like even myself during those times.


I wrote this review over a span of one whole month, so spare me if you sense a sort of discontinuity