My rating: 4 of 5 stars
** Probably more of a 4.5 star book **
I don't normally do this but I'm going to quote another review here, one that expresses my feelings about this book more than I think I could.
Here is a review written by Kelly Jensen over at Book Riot -
"Earlier this summer, I talked about fat phobia in YA and noted that I hadn’t yet read Dumplin’ but had read a lot of positive reviews of it. It’s everything I wanted and more. This is a book where Willowdean, a fat girl who knows she’s fat and owns her body as such, but it’s a story about grief, about family, and about Dolly Parton impersonators. There is a sweet relationship that develops here, and I thought the experiences Willowdean had as a fat girl were realistic, honest, and vulnerable — a key element that so many of these books lack.
Willowdean has a real voice, and her voice isn’t 100% confident all the time. Despite being comfortable in her own skin, she has moments of absolutely feeling crushed beneath the expectations the world around her has for her and her body. And those things rang so painfully, authentically true.
We rarely get stories where the fat girl gets to be funny, have friendships, have romances, and have challenges unrelated to her body/”health” of her body. More, we rarely get them where the voice is key. And that’s because as a society, we silence fat people. We make them invisible. We make them make themselves disappear (and I say this as someone who has certainly seen the looks people give when you are climbing into an airplane seat or a bus seat and are made to shrink yourself, as to not take up space that you paid for and can fit perfectly within). So that Murphy gives Willowdean that voice? That’s powerful as hell, and teen girls who read this….FAT teen girls who read this…will see that they matter. That they are seen. That THEIR lives matter and are important and they are welcome and encouraged to take up all the space in their lives that they need to.
I only wish I could hand this book to my high school self. But I’m so glad it’s there for today’s readers."
I highly recommend this for young adults and adults alike. It's such a fantastic read. In addition, it's one of the few books about the overweight that felt true or real to me. I think there are very few books out there that tell a honest, unflinching view of obesity and how it impacts lives. Anyway, go read this one. I don't think you'll regret it!