Dumplin' (Dumplin' Series #1)

Dumplin' (Dumplin' Series #1)

by Julie Murphy

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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This beloved novel, a #1 New York Times bestseller, will soon be a major motion picture starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston.

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean 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 Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504645218
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Series: Dumplin' Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she's not writing or trying to catch stray animals, Julie can be found in a library smelling old books and manning the reference desk. Her acclaimed first novel is Side Effects May Vary.

Eileen Stevens is a voice-over actress living and working in New York City whose voice can be heard on cartoons, promos, programs for English-language learners, and audiobooks. She has voiced Iris on Pokemon. An Earphones Award-winning narrator, she has also directed and produced audiobooks for over six years.

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Dumplin' 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh , cry and feel everything I felt in high school . It's a sweet yet slinky story that captivated me. Into remembering the girl I was. Love your curves , love yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved loved loved it.. I couldn't put it down and when I was done I wanted more I felt every feeling like it was happening to me.. I got actual butterflies from this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing!!! How often do all of us stand in the way of our own happiness? We dream, we hope we’d give anything to have the desires of our hearts. And when they actually happen, when they’re within our reach all of the sudden we feel as though we’re not good enough. We give into our insecurities. We run away from the very thing we’ve always wanted. I read this book in just a matter of days and loved every moment of it. I enjoyed reading the sweet story of how Willowdean captivated not just the boy of her dreams but the boy every girl wanted to be with. All of us come in different shapes, sizes and colors and reading the story of Willowdean was a reminder that regardless of how we may appear on the outside all of us are human with feelings. We should never apologies for who we are or what our bodies look like. We all deserve our happy ending. Great book about Friendship, love, self-confidence, family and death. My only complaint, I felt the ending was a bit rushed with the pageant scene and would have liked to have had a little more between Willowdean and Bo at the end. Absolutely loved Bo!! Willowdean frustrated me at times because like most of us she started to care too much about what others would think and was standing in the way of her happiness. A MUST READ!! 4 Stars cause I wanted/need more for the ending even though it wasn't a bad ending. And I had some unanswered questions the book didn't really answer.
Book_and_recipe_Examiner More than 1 year ago
Willowdean is a plus-sized Texan teen who loves Dolly Parton and deeply misses her aunt who recently passed away. Her mother, a former local beauty pageant queen, is also the director for the event, and consumed by it. Will couldn’t possibly care less, her hands being full with her best friend Ellen’s love life, and stealing glances at the handsome cook she works with at Harpy’s burgers named Bo. But then she finds an entry form for the pageant in her aunt’s old room, shocking, because her aunt was plus-sized too, and didn’t seem interested in such things. Then, Will’s car and source of freedom breaks down, and while her mother is dropping her off at school, she calls Willowdean her childhood nickname, Dumplin’, in front of the whole school, including its worst bully. Trying to navigate love, the gap her aunt left in her and her mother’s relationship, and the challenges of friendship as both girls grow into young women with different interests, Willowdean endures more losses, gains new friendships, meets drag queens, and even comes to terms with her own stubbornness and learns the definition of the word loyalty. Dumplin' is about deep loss, first love, friendship, finding your compass and accepting yourself, no matter your shape or talents. It’s a perfect read for teens or those who remember those challenging years, especially the struggle of trying to chase that elusive “shadow of perfection.” For discussion questions, a matching recipe for Cherry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, similar books, and some notable quotes, visit: http://hub.me/amuBW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is so insirational and packed with suspense! Every time I see this book in my library I rember how good of a book it is.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into reading Dumplin’. I hated Julie Murphy’s last book, Side Effects May Vary, but I’d heard so many great things about this book. My book club selected this book; otherwise I may not have read it. I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed it. Willowdean (aka Dumplin’, her mom’s nickname for her) is the overweight daughter of a former beauty pageant winner. Her mother now runs the town’s teen pageant. Willowdean has always been more like her aunt, who’s just died. Amidst the usual teen drama – first love and a falling out with her best friend – Willowdean also decides to enter the beauty pageant as a sort of tribute to her aunt. She inadvertently inspires some other misfits from her school to do the same. This book is a great girl power story, and it has an adorable romantic plot line as well. I blew through it – almost in one day. I spent one Sunday pretty much reading this book and avoiding everything else I was supposed to be doing. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the characters, and I honestly wasn’t sure how it was going to end right up until the last few pages. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-dumplin-by-julie-murphy/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 67 years old. I related to this story like I was back in high school. Loved the characters. Immediately made it into my top 10 fave YA titles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book I so identify with. Witty, funny and utterly honest. ???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sweet...reminded me of my southern childhood without being too cheesy.
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
I ended up picking this up after I watched the movie on Netflix. The movie was cute and after I saw it was based off a book, I wanted to read it. Will is in high school and she's on the heavy side and she knows it. Her mom is a former beauty queen in charge of the local beauty pageant. And over the years Will has been on every diet imaginable, but nothing worked and she has accepted that this is just the way her body is. Her aunt recently died and they were very close. Her aunt loved Dolly Parton, and I think this was one of the things that made the movie so much fun was all the music. Will and her mom both really miss the aunt. This is another reason that her mom worries about her so much, the aunt was only in her thirties when she died, but it was due to being very obese. She might come off as sharp sometimes to her daughter, but it's because she worries about her. She wants the best for her, and she worries she will keep gaining weight and eventually end up like her sister. Eventually Will and a few other girls decide to enter the beauty pageant, which her mom is in charge of. It's cute, I liked seeing other people in the pageant and not just the cookie cutter girls. What I wasn't as crazy about in this book was the love triangle. Will likes two boys and they both like her. Bo, the boy she works with. And another classmate, that I am completely blanking out what his name was. They are both nice boys that seem to treat her well, she just needs to pick without leading the other one on. I understand she's a confused teenager, but I didn't care for this part of the book. (I'm kinda glad that in the movie they just dropped one of the characters.) I see there is a companion book two that follows some other characters from this book, which I will be adding to my reading list.
Renwarsreads More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book and also the movie on Netflix. They were very different but both were so good and really sent a great message. I thought the characters were likable and that some of the girls really grew within the story line. Willowdean struggles with what so many young and older women of today struggle with and it was great to see her get the support she needed from her circle of friends, trying to help her come into her own!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So after a lot of debate, I decided to pick up Dumplin after I saw the trailer for the Netflix movie. I usually trust their choices, and always like to read books before I see their movies, so I rushed to the store to pick this one up. Overall, I loved it. I both completely related to Willowdean and was endlessly frustrated with her. The romance started way faster than I thought it would and, honestly, took up more of the book than expected. This wasn't a bad thing for me because, frankly, the thing that put me off about this book was the inclusion of the beauty pageant. However, after seeing the movie trailer I was more interested in that premise and was pretty surprised when the book barely focused on the pageant itself. The end, where the pageant actually takes place, felt rushed and squeezed in at the very end. None of the "BIG, SHOCKING" moments felt that big or shocking to me. Her talent performance felt lackluster. And I was left wanting more of a solution between her and Bo (though I usually do with pairings I become super infatuated with). I wanted to see them in public together and know that Willowdean faced her fear. While I loved this book a lot, the elements that were let-downs is what leads me to rate this 4 stars instead of 5.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I didn’t know much about this story before I started reading it, but I had heard it was good. Will was an inspiring character, who I loved. I could relate to her immediately. She was inspiring, even when she made mistakes. I’m excited to watch the movie adaptation next month! I kept trying to imagine the actors in these roles while I was reading it. I can’t wait to see it. The book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’ll have to read the sequel soon!
Taylor_FrayedBooks More than 1 year ago
This book was very empowering! I think that Willowdean is such a strong character in her own right, with dealing with struggles with her mom and with others in the community who don't think she can accomplish the same things because she is heavier. She enters a beauty pageant much to the dismay of other girls who don't think she can do it because of her appearance. I think that the struggle with her mom is something that many people don't realize really affects teenage girls: her mom makes comments a lot of the time about what she is eating, etc. and that can be so damaging to a young girl. THIS BOOK IS ALSO BEING MADE INTO A MOVIE! I CAN'T WAIT!
Calla_Walker More than 1 year ago
Really fun book. Even though I got really mad when Willowdean and Ellen got into a fight and didn't talk for 2/3 of the book. REALLY? That's what made this 3-stars instead of 4. But other than that, it was really cute and I just loved that Willowdean felt insecure about her body and then learned to accept it. Great message.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
I received a review copy from Harper Collins Publishers! All views are entire my own. If you’re fat, it’s probably the trump card people use against you. You can’t do things that everyone else is supposed to do because you’re big built, or you actually like eating greasy fries. Maybe people can’t imagine you having a boyfriend and say it right to your face. Maybe your mother gives you the disappointed look every time you eat a cookie. Maybe you can’t say that someone wearing pink pants and a neon green top looks ridiculous because other people are judging you because they think you do. Look ridiculous, that is. “If I avert my eyes from all the kissing people ever, I’m positive that my life would be at least 2% more fulfilling.” Willowdean Dickinson would introduce herself to you as a Dolly Parton enthusiast and the resident fat girl. She lives in a tiny town known only for one thing – the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant. She has one friend, she has a crush on a guy who loves red suckers and is so gorgeous she probably never stands a chance with him. She’s a lot of things, but all of them don’t matter because society at large only sees her as the fat kid. And she’s never cared. And then the guy who she likes kisses her over the summer, her best friend has sex, and everything changes. Because for the first time in her life, she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. Because the thought of him touching her love handles and seeing her exposed like that while he sits there with his gorgeous everything makes her feel like she’s too big; like she’s not enough. And she hates it. And this book is about a fat girl’s journey getting back in touch with herself. Now, being a fat girl, I should say that I know what it feels like; what it all feels like. Sitting in the backseat of a car with three other skinny people, and you can just feel the fat on your body. Feeling like the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Feeling like there’s no way someone like him would ever go for someone like you. Thinking that all the flab around your torso is stopping you from being the best version of yourself, and even just hiding under the fat and not doing the things you want to do or wearing the things you want to wear. But to Willow, all of this was a “So? Why can’t I?” and I kept wondering why I couldn’t be like her. I kept wondering why just because I’m big, it means I can’t have the life I want to. Why can’t I get up on stage dressed like Dolly Parton (not that I like her, but…) and sing and enter a pageant contest or things like that. Why? Why stop myself? And I don’t have an answer. Maybe I never will. All I can say is that this book is inspirational. This book is a guide you should be giving your daughters and sons instead of giving them body image issues. This book should be what you look up to, not Victoria’s Secret Angels on the runway. And it should be okay to not be skinny, or small, or a size two. Maybe we don’t always have to be on a diet, and it shouldn’t be creepy for girls to eat in public alone, and maybe people need to stop telling us that if we just lost a little weight, the world would be a better place for us. And you should be reading it – fat or thin. Tall or short. Indian or American. This should be your next read. ALSO, Mitch WILL BREAK YOUR HEART!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super funny and big hearted! Love ths book! Would have given t 5++++ stars, but wished there was a little more to the ending! Loved Bo and Willodean! Also loved sweet Mitch! Great coming of age story for all of us!
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
★★★¼ Dumplin' is a young-adult contemporary novel written by author: Julie Murphy. This story encompasses issues related to coming-of-age, death/loss/grief, family issues, self-image, society's views on beauty and weight, interpersonal relationships, and first love. The story was entertaining and easily held my interest, and I think it addressed important topics. However, there were some elements about this novel that didn't quite flow in my opinion, specifically with the romance and the subject of self-acceptance. Unfortunately these parts ended up impacting how much I enjoyed the novel as a whole. Overall, I liked Dumplin' and especially enjoyed the references to Dolly Parton. Her name isn't one seen in many young-adult novels so this added some originality which I appreciated. I would recommend this book to empathetic readers who like coming-of-age stories. Enjoy :) My favorite quote: "All my life, I've had a body worth commenting on. And if living in my skin has taught me anything it's that if it's not your body, it's not yours to comment on. Fat, skinny, short, tall, it doesn't matter."
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS Willowdean is a fat girl and she's not afraid to say it. She's comfortable in her own body, despite her mom's (the former beauty queen) insistence that she lose weight. Wil grows feelings for her co-worker, Bo, and ends up having a summer relationship with her. For some reason, Wil begins to feel doubt about herself, so she does something that she never expected to do: enter her mom's beauty pageant. I had high expectations for this book and it just wasn't what I expected. First of all, it was a bit boring. Wil doesn't even get the idea to go into the pageant until more than halfway through the book! That's the main part of the book! And everything also felt incredibly draggy. Honestly, not a whole lot happened. Still, there were enjoyable moments. Besides the mostly positive reviews, I wanted to read this book because of the meaning it provides. This books deals with body positivity, something that the book world needs. I know that many, myself included, are not comfortable in their own skin and I like having a character that is actually comfortable in her skin, and heck, I like the fact that there's a fat MC without a focus on getting skinny (like most books). I must mention, though, that Wil did bother me at times. She wasn't very good with her relationships. Meaning: she picked fights with those close to her and I thought some of it was unnecessary. For example: she got in a huge fight with her best friend,Ellen, because Wil didn't want her to be in the pageant. Why? Because Ellen might actually win. Wil wasn't aiming to win this thing and she wasn't letting her best friend enter because there's the small chance she might win. What? Wil just have issues with relationships in this book. She was also against the misfits entering and was borderline judgmental about them. While I don't like some things Wil did, we all have our flaws and some of the other characters weren't squeaky-clean either. It bothered me at points, but it's all realistic. There's romance in this book. I don't want to say much about the romance because it's just more of Wil's bad decision making. She kind of rebounds and leads a poor, sweet guy on. I also didn't particularly like Bo's decision making either. IN CONCLUSION I know I sound like I didn't like this book. I kept complaining and complaining, but I actually liked it. Most of my complaining is because I heard so many amazing things about this book beforehand and was kind of let down. Overall, I liked the idea of this book and how it talks about being comfortable in your own skin. It's a needed book in the YA market.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Dumplin’ was all kinds of adorbs, but it was so much more than that too. It’s my favorite kind of story… the kind that leaves you feeling empowered, good enough, smart enough, and ready to conquer the world! Willowdean Dickson, self-proclaimed fat girl, is a confident teen who’s comfortable in her own skin. That in and of itself was so impressive for me. All too often, overweight teens are insecure, embarrassed by their looks, and become a severe introvert. (Myself included!) Her impressive personality was a breath of fresh air and started this story off on a high note. “There’s some kind of peace that comes with knowing that for every person who is waiting to be found, there’s someone out there searching.” My only real complaint was the romance. (Pss… love triangle here, folks. ) I kind of wish it wasn’t there, honesty. And if there had to be a romance (which I’m usually all for!!) I wish it had only been one guy. The back and forth between the two boys didn’t really do it for me. Yes, parts were kind of sweet… but overall, I just wasn’t a fan. “I guess sometimes the perfection we perceive in others is made up of a whole bunch of tiny imperfections, because some days the damn dress just won’t zip.” This story was EXPLODING with positive messages. So much so that it was impossible to NOT feel motivated by this story. “I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.” And Julie Murphy’s writing was incredible!! There were so many amazing quotes in this story I was constantly tagging things.(As you can obviously tell. There are A LOT more too.) “I think you gotta be who you want to be until you feel like you are whoever it is you’re trying to become. Sometimes half of doing something is pretending that you can.” Seriously, I wish I had this book when I was a teenager. It’s not only for overweight readers to relate to either. There’s so much involving in this story that everyone can relate to, no matter what your size. Everybody has insecurities, and this story helps the reader shine despite them. So much love for this book! (Thank you to Harper Audio for the review copy!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were likeable, and the story line was realistic. I couldn't put it down, and thats rare for me. It really took me back to my high school days and had me feeling nostalgic. Lovely read! I hope to read more from this author soon!
terferj More than 1 year ago
I really liked the book, let me list the pros: *It was a quick read. I finished it in approximately 10 hours. *It kept me so engrossed in the story; before I knew it on the first day I was more than halfway done and it was late when I put it down. *I thought it was a cute story. *I liked Willowdean aka Will. Even though she had her moments of self consciousness, she didn't let that keep her down. Patrick Thomas learned that real quick. Lol. *She stuck up for the other girls that didn't fit the criteria of others. *A good message regarding body image. Yes, you'll have doubts and insecurities but own it. If others can't deal with it, then they're not worth your time. The cons: *I wished she had some heart to heart with her mom on why she entered the pageant in regards to what she found in her aunt's room. *More on the ending with Bo. *A little more on the pageant. It was so minimal, I wanted the Dumplin' pose in there.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
What a powerful novel that focuses on self-image. There were no drawn-out preachy dialogues or depressive narratives that the characters struggled through in this novel but rather the characters were dealing with their issues in a more positive manner. Self-image was the main topic but there were numerous other topics that the author brilliantly calls into play such as individualism, death, making choices, being wrong and friendship. Self-image is a huge topic and working with kids at school, I am aware of this about every day. One look, one comment or even one raised eyebrow can set off a person for the entire day. Some children do it on purpose (to get a response) and some are not even aware they caused the offense until the other person is hurt. I enjoyed this novel for the variety of topics it covered and for the positive mannerism it carried throughout its pages. Will was heavy, she knew it and the world knew it but it was the way she accepted herself and the world around her that made all the difference. She knew what the world was unleashing at her, she wore the battle wounds, and the novel told us her pain. The image that she carried of herself was not one of perfection for she was not blind but the image she had, she was happy with. She’s accepted who she was and was moving forward in life yet it is the others around her that can’t accept her for who she is. A close friend listens to Will talk about her life, this friend who she has had for years, but something begins to change now and they start to drift. Will is a witty and a likable girl who hesitates about being accepted by others, as she feels she’s being judged by them. Will puts on a great front, she acts as though she is not bothered by other’s opinion but inside it’s a different story. Her mother, she lived the dream of the pageant for years while leaving her daughter behind, while Will’s aunt showed her the way of the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even before DUMPLIN’ debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, I had been hearing a lot about it through various book blogs. I found the concept innately appealing: a confident fat girl likes a jock, he likes her back, her confidence is shaken, she enters a beauty pageant? I definitely haven’t read that before. When I finally got to read it, I was glad to realize it’s true: there’s a lot to love here. Murphy does that great thing with her setting where it’s simultaneously so relatable and yet so distinct. Admittedly, I didn’t find the setting here quite as relatable as that of Jenny Han’s P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU, for example—but I think that makes sense, because Han is going more for your average American suburb, whereas Murphy sets DUMPLIN’ squarely in Texas. And that was awesome. The setting is never overpowering, but Willowdean is a great tour guide: frank, self-aware, and not overly apologetic. I loved getting these little snapshots of Texan beauty pageant culture. But what really holds this book together is the characters. I know I’m not the only person who found it refreshing to read about a fat girl who does not loathe her body and does not want to conform to what other people say is beautiful—and, in the process, has other people realize how beautiful she really is. Isn’t that what the most satisfying chick flicks always do? There’s a character that’s offbeat in one way or another, but she will not cower, and, therefore, she eventually shines. (I haven’t actually watched a chick flick in a long time, and I’m not suggesting you’d need to love chick flicks to love this book—but I find the comparison apt.) The supporting cast is also pretty awesome. While I wish we knew a little more about Bo, he comes across as a laconic good guy that’s still figuring himself out, AKA a real person. Ellen is fun and I do believe her friendship with Will, even though she’s MIA for much of the story. And Millie, Amanda, and Hannah, the misfits who band together—they all have a story to tell, too. I also feel like Murphy juggled several competing themes about identity and society together pretty well. Yes, Will is comfortable in her skin most of the time—but she has a mom that won’t let her forget the life she could be living if only she would just work hard and lose weight. (Never mind that Will is already living that life under her mom’s nose.) She has a best friend who is conventionally gorgeous, and she loves Ellen for being a real friend—but she acknowledges that she still has the occasional jealous thought to battle. She likes Bo and doesn’t even find it so crazy that he could like her back—but she is all too conscious of how others would see it, and she doesn’t want to be seen as that lucky fat girl that somehow snagged a much better-looking guy. The relationships also feel organic, rather than forced, and I do like seeing the progression in Will’s relationship with her mom, the former beauty queen. And there are so many poignant, real-life scenes that feel so relatable and yet so fresh and unique to this book. Plus, that ending was a masterpiece in simple, satisfying, and sweet. Given how much I enjoyed the book, why the docked star? Just a couple of things. Occasionally, Willowdean felt almost too self-aware, in a way that was kind of tiring for me as a reader: she often has these moments (for example, in her fight with Ellen) where she says she knows exactly why she’s wrong and what she should do, but she