Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins Tour 2019: A Rambling

Hi all,

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, ya’ll are probably aware that I saw the Jonas Brothers live this weekend.

It was such a fun and emotional experience that I absolutely have to write about it. I’ve been a fan of the Jonas Brothers since seventh grade. (I’m nearly 24 now – where did all that time go?!). My very first Tumblr and Twiter were for the Jonas Brothers. I lived and breathed music in middle and high school. I went to concerts nearly once a month, Jonas Brothers included, and spent all my money on music and merch. I loved Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, Lights, The Maine, William Beckett, Mayday Parade, etc., but my music obsession really started with the Jonas Brothers. I’d seen them live four times before they broke up, and I have been a passenger on this “The Jonas Brothers are back together!” hype train since day 1.

I bought tickets to their Happiness Begins tour the day they went on sale despite the high prices. I didn’t want to miss out on their reunion tour, and I’m so glad I decided to go!

It was so much fun to relive those old middle school memories. Now that I have my own money (uh-oh) I was able to get stellar seats, the closest I’ve ever had for one of their shows. I was emotional before we even sat down, seeing how close to the stage we were! And seeing everyone with their 2008/2009/2013 tour shirts and old JB merch was awesome. (I will say, we’re a better-dressed crew than we were in our middle school years.) This was also my girlfriend’s first concert. She isn’t a huge fan of the Jonas Brothers, but she tagged along for emotional support and also for me to lean on during the sappy love songs.

I loved singing along to new songs and old favorites. I loved that they incorporated so much of their old stuff – songs from their very first album It’s About Time and songs from Camp Rock. There was no shame in their beginnings and it was so fun for older fans like me. I also loved that they played one of Nick’s solo songs and Joe’s DNCE songs. This was awesome to me because we were all there in that room in 2019, but people may be there because they listened to them since day 1, or since A Little Bit Longer was released, or since they watched Camp Rock on Disney Channel, or from hearing “Jealous” or “Cake by the Ocean” on the radio – we all have a different relationship to the band. The videos between sets showed them interacting with their younger selves – Kevin with his two daughters looking into the eyes of his younger self had me all emotional. And the backdrop during the songs were things like graphics of old album art or clips from old videos.

They opened up with the song “Roller Coaster” from their new album, and as we were singing along and got the lyric, “It was fun when we were young and now we’re older,” I started to tear up because of course I always get emotional at these things. Like I said, I nearly cried as soon as we sat in our seats. But I was singing this lyric along with one of my favorite childhood bands and also thousands of other people sharing the same experience. I hadn’t seen them live for nearly 10 years. I was seeing them in a different city than I ever had before, thousands of miles from my mom, who always used to take me to their shows, and my old best friend I used to go with. We all went from being dorky middle/high schoolers to twenty-somethings with college and jobs and totally different lives. And we all stood together and sang those old songs just like we used to, and new songs, and now have a whole new experiences and just wow, it makes me emotional.

Anyway, this is going on much longer than I expected it to. This was such a fun and emotional experience for me, and I’m so grateful that I was able to make it to the Jonas Brothers reunion tour. So I guess I’ll wrap this mess up now – thank you all for reading!


Review: Fairest

2019-8-14 Fairest Review Header
Meyer_Lunar Chronicles 3.5_Fairest

Series:The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published: Feiwel and Friends, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, sci-fi
Pages: 222
My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Description: “In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.” (Goodreads)

As ya’ll know if you’ve read any of my past Lunar Chronicles reviews, I really loved reading this series and got my hands on as much bonus content as I could, including Fairest. This isn’t my favorite of the Lunar Chronicles novels, but I do think it had a lot to offer in getting to know our villain and a little extra about the Lunar Chronicles universe, especially Luna

First thing first: this is a story about abuse. It’s a story about the abuse that Levana experiences and the abuse that others face at the hands of Levana. This book was much darker than the other Lunar Chronicles novels. As I was reading I was consistently shocked at how disturbing it could be. It read more mature than the rest of the series for sure.

There was a lot of physical and mental abuse and manipulation, along with a relationship between an adult and a minor. I would definitely keep that in mind if you plan to pick this up – there were a lot of moments where I questioned if this should even be listed under YA (I didn’t mark it as YA above because the characters were adults for the majority of the book anyway).

That being said, the reader really does get Levana’s motivation. This book doesn’t make you forgive her or sympathize with her, but you do get an understanding of why exactly she turned out the way she did. She faces physical and mental abuse at the hands of someone close to her (doing my best to avoid spoilers!), and in responses abuses and manipulates others. The abuse she faced is not an excuse for her to abuse others, but we do get a better understand of why she hides her face, is so power-hungry, and is so powerful with her manipulating magic. We learn about her personal relationships but also her relationship to Luna and her rise to power. In the core novels, she does everything to keep Luna in her clutches, and in Fairest we find out why it means so much to her. It’s not just about having power for Levana; in her own way, she cares about Luna and really thinks she’s doing what’s best for it’s citizens.

You also learn more about Cinder’s mother, Channary, and even Cinder’s origins. In the original series there are hints that Channary isn’t what she’s romanticized to be, and we find out exactly why in Fairest. We also see the fire that Cinder was rescued from, the motive behind it; I love how it ties Cinder, Channary, and Levana together in a way other than their blood relation.

Like I said about Stars Above in my review, Fairest is definitely a book for people who are already a fan of the Lunar Chronicles. It’s not by any means a book you need to read to understand or enjoy the main series, but it does offer a a little more backstory to the series, and especially Levana’s character and motive. If you’ve read the Lunar Chronicles and you’re anything like me and love to get as many juicy details about the characters and world as you can, Fairest is for you.

Read my other Lunar Chronicles reviews: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, & Stars Above

Recommend for fans of: The Lunar Chronicles main series

Buy the book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Thriftbooks

Thanks for reading!
Find more reviews here.

Review: Nimona

Author: Noelle Stevenson
Published: HarperTeen, 2015
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy
Pages: 256
My rating: 5 stars

Description:Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.” (Goodreads)

I’ve wanted to read genres and types of books, graphic novels included, and Nimona seemed like a great place to start in that department since I’ve heard so many great things about it. When I finally spotted a copy at Strand last winter, I picked it up, and I recently dove in because it was a recent TBR jar pick. It wasn’t what I expected, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I want to get my hands on more graphic novels – and more of Stevenson’s work – after this read.

There was so much more in this book than I expected. I expected it to be a fun, quick little adventure story but it was packed with so much more. The story was completely captivating. I really think I underestimated graphic novels, because I was surprised at how good it really was. It was much more complicated than I expected it to be; it’s not an easy good versus bad tale. It wasn’t long, but after following these characters I was attached to them, especially Nimona and Blackheart, and I was really moved by the story. I wanted so much more!

That plot twist at the end! Like I said, this book totally upended by expectations and was way more complicated and deep than I expected, and the big plot twist at the end really did me in. I want to avoid spoilers, but ahhhh! Part of me can’t believe I didn’t see it coming, but part of me doesn’t know how I could have guessed. Either way, the plot twist is a big reason I loved this book, and why it was a 5-star read for me. (Listen, you just gotta read it, okay???)

I also love the art style. It’s unique and totally recognizable. I don’t know if it’s because Stevenson did the writing and the art, or if it’s just, like, part of being a good graphic novel (this area is new for me, okay?) but I feel like it fits the story so perfectly. The story is adventurous and fun but also complicated and dark at times; the art is cartoon-y and cute, but also sharp-edged and pointy. I love Stevenson’s art and writing style as it is, and she combines them perfectly in Nimona.

This review is gonna stay short, because I don’t read a whole lot of graphic novels and don’t have much knowledge in the way of critiquing them. But when I read Nimona, I knew I had to write about it, if not just to tell anyone who hasn’t yet read it to read it right away. This book, for a hundred reasons, really hit home for me. It earned it’s place on my favorite shelf, and I can definitely see myself reading this one over and over again.

[See also: my love for She-Ra.]

Some Quotes:
“The breaking’s not the hard part. Humans are so easy to break.”

Recommend for fans of: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Skin & Earth by Lights

Buy the book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Thriftbooks

Thanks for reading!
Find more reviews here.

Book vs. Movie: Dumplin’

Hi all,

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and promised a forthcoming Book vs. Movie post after I watched the Netflix adaptation. And, well, here it is….

Book description: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 twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.” (Goodreads)

This film is an adaptation of Julie Murphy’s YA novel of the same name, written by Kristin Hahn, directed by Anne Fletcher, and produced by COTA Films and Echo Films. It was distributed by Netflix in 2018. (IMDB)

Overall, I think this was a pretty solid adaptation. The book and movie shared the same vibe and I was surprised at the lack of major changes from the novel to the film. I think it was a fun, positive-feel good movie, maybe even more so than the book. However, I will say that I wasn’t a big fan of most of the few major changes they did make. Still, they didn’t impact the story or message too much for me and I still enjoyed the film!

Kept the same (or close enough):

One thing that I’m so happy they kept similar was the Dolly Parton drag show and some of the queens helping Will and her “mistfit” friends prepare for the pageant. There was a moment with one of the queens in the movie made me tear up! In a scene about 53 minutes into the film, after Will and her friend’s first attend the Dolly Drag Show, she’s talking with one of the queens who knew her Aunt Lucy, and he says, “‘You know that Dolly saying, ‘Figure out who you are, and do it on purpose.’ Now imagine if you just jump right in it. Ten giant steps forward. ‘Mother may I? Yes. Yes you may.’” I’ll be honest – I think about this line a lot on bad days. That quote itself wasn’t in the book, but I’m so glad they kept the queens!

Minor changes:

Will’s pageant friends are a little different than described in the book. After her fight with Ellen, Will spends time with Millie, Hannah, and Amanda, three other girls who want to change people’s perspectives with the pageant. Amanda didn’t make it into the film. And instead of being “horse-faced” as described in the book, Hannah is more tom-boy angry feminist, which I’m not gonna lie, didn’t really understand or particularly like. Still, while I did prefer the book characters to movie-Hannah, I don’t think this had too much of an impact no the story itself. Millie was pretty much as described in the book, and I loved her in both!

Changes I didn’t love:

One thing I am so sad they got rid of was Bo’s backstory! I really loved getting to know how he went from private to public school, and I really think what Will learns about him helps her learn to challenge her own assumptions about people. To me, that’s her main personal character arc and her relationship with Bo has a lot to do with that, so I was disappointed to find out that they didn’t include his backstory in the film.

They also sort of changed Will’s initial motive for doing the pageant. In the book, it was always about doing the pageant to challenge people’s views about beauty and who can be a beauty queen. Will and her misfit friends wanted to say, “Hey, we’re beautiful too and have just as much of a right to this space as you do.” In the film, though, Will originally wanted to sabotage the pageant and was upset with her friends when they were having fun participating in the dance rehearsal or planning their costumes instead of planning how to ruin the pageant. I thought the original motive was so much more powerful, and though Movie Will eventually gets there, I didn’t think there was a good reason to have her initially go the sabotage route.

This next point covered in this paragraph is a SPOILER for the book AND movie. Skip to the next paragraph to avoid spoilers! ——— The one change that really, really bugged me in the film was that in the book, we didn’t have a pageant winner but in the film, we did. I loved that they didn’t give us a winner in the book. It proved that the pageant itself, or winning, wasn’t really what mattered. What mattered was Will’s personal growth, achieved through participating in the pageant with her new friends, and that they did participate, and had fun, and showed the world (or at least the little Texas town) that beauty isn’t one look. I think including the winner shifts the focus from challenging beauty standards to the pageant itself.

Changes I did love (or didn’t mind):

In the film, I think Will’s relationship with her mom was better. They had the same sort of fights and disagreements toward the beginning of both stories, but her mother’s growth and acceptance is better illustrated in the film. Her mother says that she regrets letting so much of her sister, Will’s Aunt Lucy, go, a conclusion she never came to (or at least admitted to) in the novel. She also adjusts Will’s pageant dress for her, and when Will decides to change her talent act, she is much more proud in the film, rather than angry and assuming that Will is purposefully not taking the pageant seriously. Her mother was pretty horrible in both the book and film, and this was something I felt was really lacking a resolution in the novel so I was happy to see more reparation of their relationship in the film.

I was also surprised that they got rid of Mitch, Will’s other love interest, in the film. I did like like Mitch’s character, but I don’t think there would have been enough time in the adaptation for a whole love triangle. I also don’t think the story line was handled too well in the book, to be honest, so for adaptation’s sake, I can understand why they left this out. Still, I was surprised not to see him in the film.

And that’s all I’ve got for this Book vs. Movie. If you watched the Dumplin’ adaptation, let me know what you think in the comments! And as always, thanks for reading!

Find move Book vs. Movie posts here!

Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Published: Feiwel and Friends, 2016
Genre: YA fantasy, sci-fi, short fiction
Pages: 369
My rating: 4/5 stars

Description:The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.” (Goodreads)

Let’s be honest – after reading the four main Lunar Chronicles books, I would take anything in the Lunar Chronicles universe I could get my hands on. I was excited to find out about this book of short stories. I always read the short stories when they were in the back of the core novels, so some of these I’d already read, but I enjoyed them and didn’t mind a few more anecdotes about the world and characters.

This was such a fun read! Parts of the main series could be intense, dramatic, and sometimes stressful, and this book had the characters in a lot more soft, cute, happy scenes. While I loved the drama of the main series, this was a much more fun and relaxing read (with the exception of some of the backstories, which could be just as sad/dark/intense as the main series). I got to really enjoy the characters instead of fearing they’d be captures and/or killed.

There were some sad and even dark moments in Stars Above, specifically in the stories that told the background of the characters, but there were also so many cute moments. It was nice to see some of my favorite characters in cutesy, warm situations after being, you know, hunted fugitives trying to take down an oppressive regime. No spoilers, but we had a wedding and an engagement? It was too much for my hopelessly romantic heart. I adore each of the couples in the main series, but romance was obviously not a priority in the main series so it was great to get some more cutesy moments with them in Stars Above. I didn’t know exactly what to expect from these stories but I got more than I could have asked for, and it made my heart happy.

Of course, there were some moments that were boring or slow throughout the book. Personally, it’s hard for me to really enjoy short fiction. It’s tough to get into a story or feel for a character when it’s only 20-50 pages long. This collection was, for the most part, an exception, most likely because the world was already established and I already knew and loved these characters prior to reading it. But I will admit there were certain stories I didn’t quite love. I found “The Queen’s Army” and “After the Sunshine Passes By” to be a bit too drawn-out, and I wasn’t too invested in Thorne’s backstory “Carswell’s Guide to Getting Lucky.” That being said, I did adore “The Little Android,” “Glitches, ” “The Mechanic,” and “Something Old, Something New.”

Stars Above something that’s really for fans who already have an established love for the main Lunar Chronicles series. It’s not a necessary part of the series, but I personally loved getting all of the extra tidbits and backstories of the characters, plus a little taste of their fates after the main series ends. I definitely recommend it for those who would love a little more of the Rampion Crew – I know I did.

Some Quotes:
“He had wondered why she liked books so much, and if it had anything to do with why he liked spaceships. Because they would take you somewhere far, far away from here.”

“I will accept any amount of monsters my mind gives me, but I will not become a monster myself.”

“Her wound was proof that she had been to battle and survived.”

Read my other Lunar Chronicles reviews: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter

Recommend for fans of: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Buy the book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Thriftbooks

Thanks for reading!
Find more reviews here.

TBR Tour

Hi all,

Let me take you on a journey of all of the unread books I have sitting around my house, waiting for me to finally get around to them (and then you can scold me for buying more books literally today).

This is a post I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and I’m so excited to finally get around to it! I have so many unread books that I can’t wait to read and, to be honest, I just wanna talk about them!

If you see any of my TBR books that you love and think I should read next, leave a comment with the title so I can jump on it! I’ve been using the TBR jar method for my 2019 reads, but I’ve been known to stray if I’m excited about a read.

All right, let’s start with my most boring shelf:

This is the TBR shelf that houses most of my “literature” (my non-fic books from college, mostly on feminism, gender studies, queer studies, and English studies as well as a few of my classics). I group my read with unread since I have so few of these, most are unread. The majority of them are either books I’ve gotten for classes (read) or hand-me-downs from my English and gender studies profs (unread). You can see I also have some fiction spilling over on to this shelf: I also house my Harry Potter books here too (all but 2 of the main series were lost in a move, but read) and and the Uglies series series by Scott Westerfield (unread) as well as Wicked (unread), Shel Silverstein B&N classic (read) and The Bell Jar (read). Phew.

Here’s where a lot of my unread fiction lives (other than the Lunar Chronicles, which I’ve read but have nowhere else to house). This is my original TBR shelf, the one that spilled onto non-fic. This section started out on a shelf in a smaller bookshelf and used to fit all of my TBR books when I was still in college and didn’t have a full-time job.

This cubby is a result of the spillover (which is the result of the full-time job). This is a cubby in my desk (about the size of those little cloth storage baskets). Whatever doesn’t fit onto those two shelves above gets stuck into this little cubby. I bought Women Heroes of the American Revolution at the Museum of the American Revolution, and An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth at the Franklin Institute – when I visit museums and historical sites I always try to pick up a book related to the museum’s topic mixed with my interests rather than a souvenir. Gilt was bought one of Raene Shirali‘s readings; her poetry gave me goosebumps and I had to buy her book.

But wait….what’s that?

Ya’ll, there’s a second row hiding behind the first. Do ya’ll know how much I hate hiding a whole row of books? But it works. Sometimes I forget what books are back here. The Lost Hero is actually my girlfriend’s, and Make Trouble was a graduation gift from one of my favorite English professors (I nearly cried when she gave it to me).

And here’s the crown jewel:

What doesn’t fit on the first bookshelf goes in the cubby, and what doesn’t fit in the cubby fits in stacks on my desk. These are my most recent buys (Daisy Jones & the Six is one of the ones I got today….). When a space is cleared in the cubby, I fill it with these. My goal is not to buy any until the stacks on my desk are gone, but clearly that’s not going well. But it’s not completely a bad thing, because seeing these unread beauties always makes me excited to read. And let’s be honest – I’ll probably never get rid of those stacks.

And that wraps my TBR Tour. It was so fun to explore my TBR books with ya’ll, and writing this post made so excited to dive into some of these! Let me know what I should read next in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and see ya’ll next week!

Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Series: Dumplin’ #1
Published: Balzer + Bray, 2015
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 371
My rating: 4/5 stars

Description: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 twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.” (Goodreads)

This is the second Murphy book I’ve read (the first being Ramona Blue), and I’m growing to love her style. It’s recognizable, but at the same time each book has it’s own distinctive voice and feel. Like Ramona Blue, Dumplin’ was fast-paced and easy to fly through. It was quick to slip right into this story.

This book tackles a lot of complicated relationships. I’m not gonna lie, I have mixed feelings about Will’s best friend, Ellen, but I loved her two pageant companions Millie and Hannah. I couldn’t stand Ellen for a lot of the book, and I feel like Will took most of the heat for their fall-out even though she and Ellen were both wrong in a lot of ways throughout this book. But I loved the commentary about people changing and friends drifting apart. This isn’t something I see a whole lot of in media, but it’s such a tough thing to go through especially when you, like Will, feel like you’re the one being left behind.

Will’s conversations (and arguments) with her mom are another thing I loved about this book. I’m a huge fan of complicated parent/child relationships being depicted in books and media, and Murphy aced this in Dumplin’. Will’s mom makes a lot of offhand comments about Will’s weight and appearance, and Will calls her out on it several times. Her mom is both a huge source of insecurity for her and a huge motivation; she wants to prove that she can do and be everything a skinny and more conventionally “pretty” girl can, and so she joins the pageant.

Maybe it’s because I’m such a sucker for lover interests, but the one thing I really didn’t like about this book is the way that Will puts her insecurities onto Bo and in turn, ends up treating him pretty poorly; this is never really fully addressed throughout the book. Yes, they make up and get together, but it quick and easy. I feel almost the opposite about Bo and Will’s fight as I did about Will and Ellen’s; Will got off pretty easy with Bo and her apology didn’t really address how she took her feelings about herself and what she disliked about herself, and put them onto Bo, assuming he felt the same way. She puts her insecurities onto him and it impacts how she sees him even though he’s done nothing to reinforce those feelings, makes assumptions about his personal life, and hardly gives him any time to explain his feelings.

It doesn’t even bother me that she does this; this is definitely a common thing for people, especially teens who are dealing with all sorts of insecurities, to do. It bothers me that it’s never stated internally or in her apology to Bo. I felt like she blamed Bo for them not being together instead of the poor way she treated him and the assumptions she made about him. She admits that she treats the other potential love interest, Mitch, like garbage and apologizes, but Bo, the actual love interest, never gets the same treatment.

That aside, there was so much to love about this book. This was such a cute, fast-paced contemporary that is great for a summer read. It offers so much abou relationships and (mis)communication between partners, parents, and friends. I know I closed it with a huge smile on my face.

Ya’ll can look forward to a book vs movie post in the future!

***Addendum: I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet. I didn’t include any commentary on the way that body issues are handled in this book when I originally wrote this review. I didn’t intend to mention it at all, but it’s such an important and central issue in this book that it feels wrong to publish this without mentioning it. However, I have little to no experience with body issues, and I didn’t feel like my perspective on how body issues are handled in Dumplin’ would offer anything to my readers or readers of the novel. I searched for reviews of the novel that I thought nicely handled the the topic to link in this review, but I couldn’t find any (you’re right: I’m probably not looking hard enough).

I can offer very little on this topic myself, and here’s what it is: I have seen several reviews stating that the book handles body issues poorly because Will makes fun of thin people; I didn’t link any of these reviews because I don’t agree with the perspective. I agree that putting other people (especially other women) down to empower yourself is counterproductive, but I feel that this perspective is part of Will’s arc. As I wrote in my above paragraph about Bo, instead of admitting that she’s actually insecure, Will tends to put her insecurities onto those around her (ex: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being fat, but HE does. I’m okay with being fat but those twig girls are probably judging me for it). She learns a lot about what it really means to feel good about yourself through the pageant and especially through mending her relationship with Ellen, and I think this is something she grows out of by the end of the book. I don’t know if that offers anything or if I should have stuck with omitting this part, but it felt so wrong to review a book that centers on body issues without mentioning them. If anyone knows any good Dumplin’ reviews that really tackle the way that body image is handled in the novel, please let me know – I’d love to link them above.***

Some Quotes:
“Okay, so this is the worst day ever, right? But the good news is that since this is the worst day ever, tomorrow can only be better. Even if it’s by a little bit.”

“Maybe you only ever notice the distance when it’s you who’s being left behind.”

“Perfection is nothing more than a phantom shadow we’re all chasing.”

“I think you gotta be who you want to be until you are whoever it is you’re trying to become.”

Recommend for fans of: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Buy the book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Thriftbooks

Thanks for reading!
Find more reviews here.