I’ve been struggling with my review for Puddin’ because it was just that good of a story. I usually doubt my words and my ability to express how much I really enjoyed a story that pushes people to want to read it as well. I loved Dumplin’ because it gave a voice where there needed to be one. I feel this story did the same thing.
**I will state that this is a companion novel to Dumplin’, not a sequel.*
Short recap: Millie and Callie have never been, what you might call, friends. Millie is constantly made fun of by Callie and her friends because Millie is a big girl. Millie has gone to fat camp and struggles with her weight, but she doesn’t let it get her down. Callie an all around mean girl on the school dance team. Callie is involved with a prank that goes horribly wrong and ends up being forced to work with Millie. Being forced to spend so much time together means these two discover things about themselves and each other they never realized.
From the moment the story started, I knew I was going to feel for Millie. I was going to have her back no matter what. I kept seeing parts of myself in her character and that caused me to bond with her even more. Millie was all around a good girl. She was the type of girl I wish I had in my high school so I could have been friends with her. She was always honest and always stood up for what she thought was right, regardless of who it might upset. She stayed true to herself and that was wonderful to read. Callie, well, she was not those things. She was a spoiled brat of a girl who believed she was above everything and everyone. She was always making fun of people (especially Millie) because she thought Millie’s size warranted jokes. Always be careful because Karma is a bitch. And Karma came for Callie in this story.
Everything about this story kept me turning the pages. I could not get enough. I was cheering Millie on for her dream to be a journalist. It may sound morbid, but I was oh so curious about Callie’s true self and if she really was as stellar and solid as she appeared to be on the outside. (Spoiler: NO) I loved the guest appearances by Willowdean! *squeee!*
Any good Julie Murphy story has a love interest and this story is no different. Both girls had a love interest and it was so much fun to read about. BUT! The main focus of the story is not the romance, but friendship and how much of a difference a positive female friendship can make. I do remember being an overweight teen being picked on day in and day out. I remember how hateful my classmates were and how horrible that all made me feel. My best friend was not going to my school at the time so I felt incredibly alone. All I needed and wanted was a friend. That is why I try to nurture my friendships as much as possible because we all deserve positive females that will hold us up when we lose our strength.
I did warn you that this review might not be too good. Just know that I loved this story and would love more from these characters, this universe. I’m on board for more stories about great friendships, Dolly Parton, drag queens.