'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.'

Willowdean is my spirit animal.

I was apprehensive going into this book, as someone who dealt with bullying as a teen because of my weight I was either going to love or hate this book. Thankfully I loved it.

Where was Willowdean when I was a teenager?

I completely related to Willowdean; her weight, her best friend, her job in fast food and her love of Dolly Parton, my love was country music in general, but who doesn't love Dolly?

Whilst this book follows Willowdean, there is an amazing array of characters to fall in love with. I loved how strong the presence of Lucy was in this book, even though the character had died before the events of this book her character still had a really strong impact on the story.

Julie Murphy has done an amazing job in capturing the truly awkward teen years. Insecurity, self-doubt, self-esteem issues and the growth and downfall of relationships, are something that everyone can relate to and the way in which she covers these topics made for a really relatable and inclusive reading experience.

This book was a truly wonderful read. I don't know anyone that wouldn't be able to relate to the emotional roller coaster ride that is adolescence. The love/hate relationships, the confidence/self-doubt and the good/bad and ugly of teenage life is something that everyone understands regardless of size, sex or age.

I have recommended this book to everyone who would listen. This is a wonderful book that deserves to be devoured by all.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is a heartwarming coming of age story that will leave you with the warm and fuzzy's.

Published by Geramie Kate Barker