Willowdean “Will” Dickson is a teenager in a small town in Texas, with nothing much to recommend it, except being home of the oldest beauty pageant in the state (possibly the country, I don’t remember). The Miss Teen Bluebonnet is a big deal and Will’s mother’s biggest claim to fame is that she won it when she was young, and still fits into the evening dress she wore. She now wears it every year, as she presents the pageant. Will is not skinny like her mother, she’s fat and this is something she’s not actually bothered about much of the time. Despite her mother’s many attempts at putting her on diets, and fears for her health, Will is fairly confident in herself and doesn’t care what others think of her.
Will’s beloved aunt, Lucy, was very obese and died about a year ago from a heart attack. Will and Lucy shared a love for Dolly Parton, and it was because of this that Will met her best friend, Ellen. They both love Dolly immensely, and both miss Lucy a lot. Having shared everything growing up, however, the two girls are starting to grow apart. Ellen has been dating Tim for ages, and is ready to take things to the next level. Will is supportive, but inwardly panicking. If El has sex, while Will has yet to even kiss a boy, what will they really have to talk about any more?
There is a boy in question that Will wouldn’t mind kissing at all. Bo, a handsome private school kid who works with her at the local fast food place surprisingly starts taking an interest in Will over the summer, and soon they seem to be making out in an abandoned parking lot after every shift. Yet excited as Will is about this, she doesn’t tell El, and while normally completely comfortable in her own skin, she gets deeply self-conscious about her body every time Bo touches her. She’s also worried about what other people will say if they see them together – because why would a gorgeous guy like Bo want to be with a girl like her?
Full review on my blog.