Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Puddin' by Julie Murphy

Summary from Goodreads:
It is a companion novel to Dumplin', which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean's star turn in the Clover City pageant.

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.
So, this book was everything! It was just the uplifting kind of story I needed to get through a busy, rainy week. It’s the kind of book that has me wishing for and craving more friendship stories. Girl power, friendships, and body positivity! This book just makes you feel good!
I was a little nervous going into this because I wasn’t certain I’d remembered all the things I needed to from Dumplin’. Good thing is this book could totally work as a standalone. You don’t have to have read the first book. However, I highly recommend it. And the deeper I got into the story, the more I remembered from book 1.
I loved Millie. She’s such a good person. It’s hard to read this and not want to be best friends with her. Her optimism, friendliness, and kindness would it make it hard for anyone not to want to know her. And I can see how her bubbly personality somehow just worked so well with Callie’s harshness.
There’s a lot going on in this book about body positivity, mean girls, family acceptance, bravery, first love, and forgiveness. But, at the root of it all is one of the best friendship stories I have read in a long time. There’s this line toward the end of the book that just jolted me. It gave me goose bumps when I first read it. And upon just finding it again now, it put a little tear in the corner of my eye. ‘“I would’ve never done this without you. I spend a lot of time telling myself to be brave, but you make me brave” (414). If this book was a song it would be “For Good” from the play, Wicked.
And if this book was a movie, it would be a super amazing, not sad, friendship version of “A Walk to Remember.” It has the elements of a good romantic comedy (which Millie would love). And there’s also something so innocent about it. What can be more innocent than a slumber party outside in tents, under the stars? Julie Murphy just gets all these different, separate points of adolescence and pieces them together in a giant puzzle board of nostalgia. I read this and had a weird longing for a Cheetos/Oreo infused sleepover of my past, something I haven’t even thought about in years.
I loved this book. 10/10.

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