Book Review: Puddin’

Title: Puddin’

Author: Julie Murphy

Series: Dumplin’ #2

Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

My rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

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This book has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now and it’s only this week that I decided to read it AAAAAHHHHH. I liked Dumplin’. It was okay for me, it definitely has a special place in my heart but it didn’t blow me away. Puddin’, however, blew my mind and captured my heart. This book is all sorts of amazing.

The writing

The writing style was light, comedic, relatable, and just punches the air out of you from time to time. It was so damn relatable for me, because yes, just like Millie, I am fat. The author was able to convey her struggles, her worries, her doubts and insecurities. And as the reader, I was able to connect with all of those.

I loved the alternating point of views. In this book, we have both Millie and Callie narrate the story, and I liked that because these two girls both have their own stories to tell. It’s not just about Millie, it’s not just about Callie, it’s so much more.

I also loved how it was easy to grasp the emotions and the thoughts of the characters. That was really good for me. It just makes me more interested with them and see more of their perspectives.

The characters

I absolutely adore the characters.

Millie, as I’ve established earlier, was so relatable for me. I see her in myself. All throughout the book I rooted for her, I felt her pain, I felt her giddiness, and most importantly, I saw her strength and her growth. I loved how she slowly started to get comfortable her weight and grew confident with her capabilities. She also didn’t let that simple thing, her weight, stop her from finding love and reaching her dreams. I absolutely loved that. (Also, can I just say that she is the fat rep my high school self needed! AAAAAHHHH)

Callie, on the other hand, annoyed me at first. But as I read more of her perspective and the story she was trying to tell, I started to love her. She was fierce, smart, passionate, and I loved that I got to see her mature and try to use her fierce outlook in life in the right way.

The minor characters were all so lovely as well. I loved how each one of them represented minorities that we never get to see in some books. There is an Asian character, a biracial character, lesbians, and even an asexual character. Kudos to the author for including these awesome characters in the story!

The plot

The plot, though it seems plain and simple, was incredibly fun and heartwarming. Somehow, the plot was able to show us various stories: how a girl lost everything but came to realize she found real friends, how another girl worked her way to achieve her dreams and let people know that she is worthy, how teens try to figure out just what they want to do in their lives and their careers, how teens are with their families. This story was truly everything.

Quotes from the book

Riots not diets. 

I try not to cringe. Dog-earing a book feels like a violation of some sacred unspoken rule.

“Girls don’t have to be nice,” she says simply. “But they should stick together…The wider world wants you to think other women are drama…or catty. But that’s just because when we work together, we’re unstoppable….One day you’ll wake up to find that there’s a woman, or maybe a few, who have outlasted every changing season of your life.”

My magic truth-the thing that has changed everything for me-is this: the body I have shouldn’t change how deserving I am of my dreams. I stopped obsessing over my body being too round or too wise or too lumpy. Because I’m not too much of anything. I am just enough. Even when I don’t feel like I am.

Because my mother thinks some thin girl is living inside me when the truth is, I am right here.

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And there you go! 5 stars for this awesome read. I wish there was a book like this when I was still in high school. This is definitely the book I needed in those times. But nevertheless, it’s here now and it’s perfect. I will forever treasure this one.

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