Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mum) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.
With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked… until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant – along with several other unlikely candidates – to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.
Apparently it is possible for a book to be really feel-good as well as kind of heartbreaking. Let me explain: Will really resonated with me as I was also a plus-size teenager that struggled with how people saw me and just wanting to feel comfortable in my skin. So seeing Will struggle with self-esteem issues and worry about being in a relationship with someone who is thin felt pretty real to me. There were so many nice aspects to this book as well though. Like the many Dolly Parton references, drag queens and watching a pretty kickass girl get her confidence back. I think Dumplin’ is for anyone who needs that little boost of confidence and it portrays some pretty important points about body issues. It also highlights the importance of having good friends to support you in everything you do.