Author: Julie Murphy
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: Dumplin', book one
Star Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
Dumplin' has been sitting in my library stack for a while now, for a least a couple of weeks. And frankly, I've been really curious about it since it came out in 2015. So I was absolutely ecstatic when one of the librarians for the book club I joined chose it for January. Unfortunately, this book, which has been heavily lauded as 'body-positive' and laugh out loud funny, just did not read for me in a good way at all. I wanted to love it, but I did not. In fact, this book is one of the worst I've ever read, and if I'm being totally honest about the whole thing, (There's another book coming out?! Seriously?!) I'm really mad that I wasted my time on it.
Dumplin' revolves around Willowdean Dickson, a young woman who is, in a word, 'fat'. And she's totally cool with her body and how she looks... Sort of? But that doesn't stop her from literally insulting and belittling every single person she comes across, who doesn't look like her. I just did not relate to Will at all, and it certainly isn't because I'm skinny. I didn't like her at all. She was unpleasant and rude and really mean to everyone around her. And hey, sometimes I like a main character who isn't the nicest, but Will just grated on my last nerve.
To be honest, all of the characters in this book, save probably Bo, didn't even have any substance for me, not even Will's supposed best friend, Ellen. Frankly, this book was hypocritical, unpleasant, and off-putting. Don't get me wrong; I love it when scary subjects are brought up in fiction, because it's that much easier to talk about. But I just did not like this book at all. I really wish I had, but it was just not for me. The bottom line: Heavily praised as 'body-positive' and 'inclusive', Dumplin' was just not a good book for me; it screamed hypocritical, poorly done, and painful. Julie Murphy is just not for me. Next on deck: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling!