Dumplin by Julie Murphy


The #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year – about Willowdean Dixon, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant.

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.

With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . Until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant – along with several other unlikely candidates – to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City – and maybe herself most of all.


I have seen the movie and read the book (I read the book first). I remember seeing it on the shelf in Target when I had to kill time before an appointment. I could not put the book down. I raved about it to my husband.

And, all of a sudden, we were scrolling through one of our apps on our Roku (I literally forgot if it was Netflix of Amazon), and they had it on there! My whole family watched it with me. It was amazing!

I liked both versions of this story. The characters in the movie, I saw differently in my head, but that is besides the point. I loved Jennifer Aniston as her mom, and I loved the girl who played Dumplin.

I recommend this book (and the movie) to anyone (obviously my family enjoyed the movie) . . . Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Goodbye Best Friend by Cherie Bennett

Release Date: March 1, 1993


Star has a great sense of humor and lots of style, but jokes and creativity can’t protect her from cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease she’s had since she was born. Because of her illness, Star has never been able to do things most kids do – and never even had a chance to make a best friend.

Then Star goes to Hope House when her illness is at its worst. She meets Courtney Cambridge there, and they become friends. Courtney is pretty, popular, and she has a boyfriend – she’s everything Star has ever wanted to be, and her friendship gives Star the strength to go on.

Soon, Courtney is going back to a normal, healthy life, and Star isn’t – she’s too sick to leave Hope House. Will Star lose her first best friend when Courtney discovers how sick Star really is?


I first read this book when I was 13, two years after this book was published. I remember reading it when I was supposed to be in bed. I cried, I laughed, and I re-read it again. I read this book so much that the pages were falling out. It was based on the ages of the girls that was my age.

I stumbled upon the book on Amazon again, last year, and I could not help myself. What did I do when I received it? I read it again, and again. This book is probably one of my favorites from when I was younger, and maybe this book inspired me to go into the medical field.

You may be 12 or 13 years old, or maybe be an adult, the fact is, no matter how old you are, you will enjoy this book, and think about life a little differently.