Dumplin' - Julie Murphy

Willowdean is comfortable with her body, even if her former beauty queen mother wishes she were skinnier. She's fine with being fat. She is surprised, however, when the cute jock at the fast food place she works at is attracted to her. But when she enters into a relationship with him, Willowdean starts to doubt herself. That's when she comes up with a plan - she's going to enter the beauty pageant and show everyone that she's perfect just the way she is.


I loved how comfortable Willowdean was with herself. She's not perfect and can be quite judgmental at times, but she is fine with her body and sees no problems with her weight. Her entering the beauty contest inspires several other girls whose looks don't match what is considered attractive by society for various reasons. Willowdean's thoughts about them are not always nice, especially at the beginning. However, she begins to realize that she's being just as wrong as the people who judge her for her weight.


The best part of the book was Willowdean's relationship with her best friend, Ellen. Ellen looks more like how Willowdean thinks her mom wants her to look like. While Willowdean loves Ellen, that does cause a bit of tension, particularly when Ellen enters the beauty pageant with her. Even though the two of them are so close, they still have some things to work.


The one part that didn't work well for me was Willowdean's romance with Bo. While I love the fact that Bo liked her for exactly who she was, their chemistry just wasn't there for me. I didn't see why they were so into each other beyond looks. And I just didn't really care too much about Bo.


Outside of the romance, I loved this book. It was filled with body positivity, even though it took Willowdean a little bit to extend that body love to everyone. And I loved her friendship with Ellen, despite the rough patch it went through in the book.