Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

18304322Body Issues. Beauty Pageants. And a complicated romance with a boy named Bo. This is what I knew about Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, before I picked it up and it was definitely enough to hook me. What I found in the pages was a whole lot more. As the cover copy will tell you Willowdean is a self-proclaimed fat girl. And believe me she owns that title. When her thin and beauty pageant obsessed mother tries to get her her on fad diets, Willowdean refuses. When people make comments at school, she tells them to go to hell. She refuses to hide behind boring clothes or a quiet personality. She owns her body. So it’s a huge surprise when her crush (Bo!) showing signs of liking her back cracks and crumbles the body positivity she’s built up over a lifetime. The answer? Entering Miss Clover City pageant. This inspires a whole slew of other unlikely candidates and forces Willowdean to think about her body, friendship, and standards of beauty in lots of new and different ways. Continue reading

Marry, Date or Dump: Dumplin’, Everything Everything, & Red Queen

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I was a little stumped trying to find a topic for today’s marry date or dump and so I looked at the top three YA books on the New York Times YA best seller list. Can we all just take a moment to be excited about the strong, diverse female characters written by female author that appear at the top of this list. At first, I thought I’d give you the love interests, but the protagonists of all three books seemed so much more interesting – so the choice is up to you if you want to do the boys or the girls, but I’m going to pick between Willowdean, Madeline, and Mare Barrow. Try to keep spoilers out of your comments, especially because I haven’t read Dumplin’ yet!  Continue reading