“Dumplin'” by Julie Murphy

Star Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars


This time I’m not going to bother with the usual structure of my blog.  Instead, with this particular book, I’m going to separate it into two different categories – How the book is marketed and What the book actually is.

How The Book Is Marketed:

Welcome to the ultimate feel-good book about how a fat girl chooses to enter a beauty pageant, regardless of how she looks!  Proving you don’t have to be thin and pretty to be beautiful!

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Well, that’s how it’s marketed.  And what an excellent idea.  With the way our society is currently deciding that the standard of beauty needs to change to fit the average woman, instead of just the ideal woman, this topic could potentially be incredibly empowering!

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Unfortunately, the book is absolutely nothing like what it is marketed to be.

Sadly, approximately only 40 pages out of 400 are dedicated to the pageant, and the idea that anyone, regardless of their looks, can be beautiful.

Instead, 360 pages are dedicated to boys and friend drama.  Honestly, the pageant in this book is nothing more than an afterthought.

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What The Book Actually Is:

This book had SO much going for it.  Picking it up on the shelf, I had such high hopes.  Fat girls breaking that glass ceiling and going on to revolutionize the standards of beauty!  Yes!  Even the intro had me pumped!

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Unfortunately, the author took this amazing opportunity and squandered it.  Massively.

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Instead of presenting a book centered around the idea of a confident, yet overweight, main character participating in a pageant…  instead, we received the trite, vapid story of a young girl and her poor relationships to her friends and – ooh! It’s a YA book! Add that stupid, overdone, no one cares, obligatory love triangle!  ….. Yes, I’m still steaming.

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The main character was far from inspiring.  She was excessively uncomfortable with herself.  She was unhappy in her relationships.  She created unnecessary drama and strife wherever she went.  She was a walking train-wreck of a person.

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To make matters worse, the incredible story that could have been – the one about the inspiring fat girl who enters a pageant and blows everyone away, eliminating the status quo and melting everyone’s little prejudiced hearts – was nowhere to be found.

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As for the 40 pages actually devoted to the pageant itself –

Not only did she barely even speak of the pageant, unless she was actively bashing it, but she also practically refused to compete in every category.  She never prepared for it.  She was too busy being the mess that upsets everyone else’s lives to prepare for a pageant.

All I have to say is.. W… T… F….?  I feel duped.  I feel swindled.  And I want my money back.

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