Dumplin by Julie Murphy

Synopsis

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.

Review

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.

Riverbend by Tess Thompson

Released: November 26, 2016

Synopsis

A single mom in need of safety accepts help from a mysterious recluse in this small-town romance by USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson.

Annie Bell just wants to do the two things she loves: cook and care for her young son. So when she lands the role as head chef at a new restaurant, she fails to anticipate how quickly things change as her talent for cooking puts her quaint hometown on the map.

Amidst a flurry of publicity, Annie finds herself back in the sights of the abusive ex-boyfriend she though she’d left behind. He wants nothing more than to make Annie pay, and she knows his threats are more than empty promises.

Reluctantly, Annie accepts the help fo a handsome, wealthy recluse, hoping to ensure the safety of her little family. But things aren’t always as they seem, and as Annie ultimately learns, her would-be hero has a dark past of his own.

Review

Riverbend is book two of the River Valley Series. I mentioned this series a couple of years ago, Riversong, and I absolutely adore this series so far. I love the small town feel (I lived in a small tow until it exploded with houses), I love the connection between the main characters, and overall I just love the feel that this story has given me.

You can follow Tess on the following sites:

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