The YA Novel that Romance Fans (and Netflix) love

2 minute read


I love Dumplin to the point of obsession. I love it so much that I’m asking you to forgive the fact that it is young-adult and also not technically a romance. There is a romantic storyline, and I promise if you read this novel, and please please read this novel, you will forgive me on both counts. 😉 

Willowdean (“Will”) Dixon is a teenager trapped in a small Texas town whose biggest annual occurrence is the Miss Cover City pageant. Will’s mother is a former winner of the pageant and the organizer of the event. 

Will is not obvious pageant material, but rather than let this deter her, it becomes the very reason she enters. Willowdean is not someone who will allow herself, or anyone else, to be shamed because of their differentness. 

In the hands of a less adept author, everything about this novel could have been a cliché. In Julie Murphy’s hands, you get a story of friendship, angst, love and the difficult dance between all mothers and daughters. If you’ve ever felt like a misfit for any reason, because you look or believe or act or love differently than the mainstream image of normal (whatever that even means), this book is for you. 

The Netflix movie is almost as delightful as the book. There are two more books in the series – Puddin and Pumpkin – and Julie Murphy will be releasing her first adult novel, If the Shoe Fits, in August 2021. 

Find Dumplin’ at your favorite retailer!

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