“Pumpkin is fabulous! What can I say? I absolutely loved it! I haven’t read the Dumplin’ books in order (rest assured the previous two are on my TBR) but that just means I can promise potential readers in the same boat that you can absolutely read this book first and get the most out of it.”
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About the Book
Dumplin’ Book Three
by Julie Murphy
Published 25 May 2021
Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA Contemporary, LGBTQIA+
Page Count: 336
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Waylon Russell Brewer is a fat, openly gay boy stuck in the small West Texas town of Clover City. His plan is to bide his time until he can graduate, move to Austin with his twin sister, Clementine, and finally go Full Waylon, so that he can live his Julie-the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music-Andrews truth.
So when Clementine deviates from their master plan right after Waylon gets dumped, he throws caution to the wind and creates an audition tape for his favorite TV drag show, Fiercest of Them All. What he doesn’t count on is the tape accidentally getting shared with the entire school. . . . As a result, Waylon is nominated for prom queen as a joke. Clem’s girlfriend, Hannah Perez, also receives a joke nomination for prom king.
Waylon and Hannah decide there’s only one thing to do: run—and leave high school with a bang. A very glittery bang. Along the way, Waylon discovers that there is a lot more to running for prom court than campaign posters and plastic crowns, especially when he has to spend so much time with the very cute and infuriating prom king nominee Tucker Watson.
Waylon will need to learn that the best plan for tomorrow is living for today . . . especially with the help of some fellow queens.
My Rating: 5 Stars
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Pumpkin is fabulous! What can I say? I absolutely loved it! I haven’t read the Dumplin’ books in order (rest assured the previous two are on my TBR) but that just means I can promise potential readers in the same boat that you can absolutely read this book first and get the most out of it.
Waylon and his twin sister Clementine are both out of the closet and proud, but Waylon is also a heavier guy and carries a shy, self-conscious air about him. As he’ll tell you himself, all his favourite people are significantly older than him, and his biggest cheerleaders are his grandmother and the school nurse (besides Clem, of course, who he can always call for a 5-second pep talk.) Waylon is a gay high school senior who’s just starting to discover all the layers of his identity, and part of that includes drag as Miss Pumpkin Pie. When a private video gets shared around school he hides away at home for a few days hoping the announcement of prom court will be enough distraction to make it safe to return… only to find that someone thought it was funny to nominate him for Prom Queen and his best lesbian friend Hannah as Prom King. Will they go for it? Is this town ready for it?
This book was 100% predictable but I’m not the least bit mad about it. Everything I called before it happened was exactly what I wanted to see happen. It’s full of all my favourite tropes and everything I’ve loved about other recent unlikely prom queen/bachelorette type stories like You Should See Me in a Crown and One to Watch, with a sprinkling of Boy Queen and Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza.
I also love the fact that while the technology and pervasive social media of this decade is absolutely present in this book, the bulk of the story could have happened when I was in my senior year of high school 15 years ago. It’s accurate to the teens of today, but it’s also timeless.
Like YA Fiction? Like queer lit? Read this book!
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