Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Romance, High School, Body Image, Friendship
I was selected to compete for the title of Miss Canada, a personality contest, in March 2021, but I have no experience with pageants so I decided to read this book in case it could illuminate me a little. Miss Canada is not a beauty pageant, but the presentation is still important. You don’t have to be the prettiest to win but you do need to look polished.
Will’s opinion of pageants is not very positive, so I’m not sure just how good an idea reading this was, but she does make these contests sound like memorable experiences. I was excited before, because it sounds challenging and completely different from anything I’ve ever done, but I’m even more excited now.
Whether I win or not, I’ll always have the dresses I’ll wear and the memories that will be associated with them. And hopefully, there will be more camaraderie than competition between us girls. There is limited camaraderie in this book, mostly because the pageant takes actually much less space in the story than Will’s romantic life but I absolutely adored her and her mother’s interactions, good and bad. In the end, the family theme had more impact on me than the friendship and romance ones.
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