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.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffman

Another classic, which by the way, my daughter is dying to see the new movie rendition. I always loved the live ballet performance shown on the television. I always enjoyed watching it on Christmas Eve at my grandparents house every year growing up.

The story alone is breathtaking. It is full of life, adventure, drama, action, and so much more, and this story. When you know the story, and see it come to life in the ballet, with the costumes, the music, the dance, all put together, it is just amazing. And the new movie rendition looks like it can take us to a whole different realm of this story.

What is your favorite version of this story?