I really rather wish this book had been written back when I was in my late teens, so the girl-I-was could have been reassured that she wasn’t alone.
I’m sorry to say that Meet Cute was my biggest reading disappointment of 2018 so far. It had everything I thought I wanted: how-we-met short stories from some of the best YA authors out there — including Julie freaking Murphy — and a recommendation from Rainbow Rowell. I assumed it would be a delight. And some of it was. I had never heard of Ibi Zoboi, but her story “Hourglass” was my favorite of the bunch. She told a story about Cherish, a tall African-American girl in a small town filled with white people. Her best friend is kind of […]
I was thrilled to hear Julie Murphy wrote a sequel to Dumplin’ and picked up a copy as soon as my library got it in. I definitely had high expectations but, unfortunately, I also had very little knowledge about what the sequel was about so I was a bit let down to realize Willlowdean was relegated to a barely mentioned side character. If you are a big fan of Dumplin’ then I recommend going into Puddin’ with the mindset that it is not a sequel but rather its own standalone novel that is equally body positive and full of female empowerment. Puddin’ focuses on two main characters; Callie, […]
I loved this book. It’s a wonderful exploration of misfit growing up. It’s hilarious and sweet, but not too sweet. I devoured it in one sitting, and stayed up way too late because of that. This is a couldn’t put it down book, and those are just the best kinds of books. Willowdean Dickson isn’t the skinniest kid in her small Texas town, where beauty pageants and football reign supreme, but she’s happy. She’s got her best friend, a decent job, and a crush who may be reciprocating her crush feelings. And even though her aunt, a second mother, passed […]
I really wanted to like this one, I loved Dumplin’ and enjoyed last year’s Ramona Blue, but Murphy’s debut novel was lackluster. Going back in time with an author is always tricky since most people improve with age & time so I will try to be kind. Sixteen year old Alice was diagnosed with leukemia about a month after discovering her mother was having an affair. Alice was skipping school with her soon to be ex-boyfriend, Luke, and discovers her mom nearly naked with another man. Luke and Alice break up after he tells Alice’s frienemy (/his new girlfriend) what they saw […]
Dumplin’, whose real name is Willowdean, is a smart, kind, capable, funny, and fat (her term) 16-year-old in small-town Texas. Being sixteen is sucky enough, am I right?!, but the “fat” part causes even more trouble than one would expect for Dumplin’ since her mom is the local pageant queen-turned-pageant director, still living on her own pageant days, staying thin to fit in a 30-year-old dress. She was herself once Miss Teen Blue Bonnet and you better believe that’s a big effin’ deal in Clover City. Dumplin’ is pretty bad-ass — she takes her mom in stride for the most […]
I was worried about this one since a big plot point is a young lesbian falling in love with her male friend and I wasn’t sure I’d appreciate sexuality being treated as a plot point. It seems like a lot of other people had similar fears and, instead of reading the book like I chose to, flooded Goodreads with 1 Star reviews out of spite. I hope some of these people decide to pick Ramona Blue up anyway because I think Murphy did an excellent job of navigating what could potentially be a tricky subject by steering the narrative towards a general coming […]
Ramona lives in Eulogy, Mississippi with her dad and her pregnant sister in a trailer. The trailer was supposed to be a place for them to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina. However, lives don’t just miraculously piece themselves back together and money doesn’t grow on trees and sometimes, moms can’t handle reality and leave. So now 12 years later, Ramona works hard to keep her family afloat. Fiercely protective of them and constantly worried about their future, she seems to think of her own as a footnote, an afterthought, or even less exciting, already written. But when her childhood friend Freddie […]