Review: “Puddin'” by Julie Murphy

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. I loved Dumplin’, and was excited when I heard about Puddin’! But I finally had the time to listen to this book via audiobook, and it was an absolutely gem! I might just love it more than I do Dumplin’!

Content warning: Fat-shaming

Puddin;Title: Puddin’ (Dumplin’ #2)
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: May 8, 2019
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Length: 428 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”

new four and a half stars

new my thoughts

plot text
Man, I sure did love nearly everything about this book. I thought the plot was incredibly engaging and relatable for both Millie and Callie. I adored how each girl had their own personal things to work through and even managed it together. This really is the quintessential high school book, and I just want to give it a giant hug! I never found the pacing slow or drawn out. I found each chapter and scene engaging and essential to the story as a whole. Yes, there were certain parts that made me cringe or roll my eyes, but it was the characters themselves and their actions. The idea of this book as a whole and the connection I felt with the main characters truly made this book a lovely read.

characters
The only reason this book didn’t receive a full 5 stars was because of Callie. (Maybe that was the point?) I equally liked her and disliked her. I loved that she was biracial and some of the incidents she recalled from her past were completely relatable. But Callie as a person is… Well, she’s really crappy. She fat shames so much, mainly because she’s very ignorant. I like how it wasn’t Millie’s job to teach Callie not too, though there were moments they butted heads about this. I adore Millie’s voice in this book–she’s confident but innocent. I loved being inside her head and getting to know her. Her interactions with her friends and her crush were wonderful and real.

I loved seeing the characters from Dumplin’ again, too. It was really the best reunion!

writing style text
Nothing bad to say here! I’m so excited to see what Julie Murphy will write next. This is really just me reiterating how much I loved being inside Millie’s head. I feel like Murphy’s characters are real and relatable. The juxtaposition of Millie and Callie and their different yet similar lives came off the page so well, too. It was an pleasure to read this book, and I will recommend this and Dumplin’ as some of my favorite YA contemporaries.

Check out these other reviews:

  • Lori at Lori’s Bookshelf Reads rated this book 3.5 stars.
  • The ladies over at Frayed Books reviewed the Puddin’ audiobook and the “Dumplin'” movie!
  • Mikayla at MikaylaReading talked about how much the fat representation mattered to her.

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, or find it at your local bookseller using IndieBound!

5 thoughts on “Review: “Puddin'” by Julie Murphy

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