Friday, 13 November 2015

Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Description from Goodreads

Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

Despite the rather unpromising start, Dreamland definitely surprised me as it took a turn to something very original and ended up being entertaining mystery/fantasy novel. The book was well-paced at all times, keeping the readers at their toes with both dream-travelling and romance, and I ended up reading the whole novel just in a day. I was kind of disappointed with the ending as it was left a bit open-ended - I was hoping it to have a more conclusive ending considering this is currently a stand-alone novel.

The beginning of the novel wasn't very strong, and already at 1% I was scribbling angry notes about animal cruelty being the first sign of psychopathy, but luckily my mind was changed pretty quickly. Even though the book started off with a cliché, an unpopular girl meeting a hot guy skinny dipping (who, of course, was new in town) and with some frankly really stupid and ignorant comments, I was glad to notice that element in the novel was short-lived. Just within the first 15% of the novel, my opinion had completely changed from exasperation to intrigue. Thank god. This book just had too much potential, and I would've hated it to continue with the "the right amount of fat for a mom" comments.  

But moving on to other points. Dea and Connor, for example. I really enjoyed the relationship between these two. Quite may readers can probably guess that there will be something more than just friendship forming between them, and I loved how the author had decided to handle the relationship. It was never hurried, and shared experiences and trusting bond gradually formed between them, just like in real life it would happen in an ideal situation. But when the more romantic, tingling scenes came.. Anderson nailed them and I was mentally squealing at how well done those scenes had been written. 

"Spooning was something hard and metallic. Spooning was organized, like a silverware drawer. This was warm and soft and fluid. This was a cup of milk before bedtime, sunshine pouring like liquid down a wall, soft model clay, imprinted with a finger." 


The absolute favourite (and probably not very unpredictable) element of the novel was the dream-travelling as it unconsciously brought to my mind the Christopher Nolan film Inception. Even though the comparison might not be very fair as the film is absolutely incredible, but the current novel's author also had succeeded very well in creating a similar atmosphere while travelling in the dreams and how the dreams were constructed. Needless to say, the occasional cinematic quality of the book was the source of both the awe factor as well as the haunting mood. I particularly loved the dream-travelling scenes towards the end as the author had a lots of playground to work with - I was completely absorbed in the descriptions. Plus, sometimes the dreams were creepy as hell which is always a bonus!

However, I cannot really give more than 3.5 half starts to novel. I'm not sure if it was because I might not have paid enough attention at crucial moments or was is just the author being careless, but the plot definitely had some holes in it. Of course this made me immediately ask even more questions about the plot and the events, without really getting the answers I wanted. For instance (a minor spoiler ahead!!), Connor was accused of the murders of her mother and his 1-year-old brother when he himself was 7-years-old. Now, even though this is a very extreme situation, it's still not completely unbelievable. However, Connor was accused of bashing his mothers head in, and majority of people took this as the truth. I mean.. Does a seven year old really have all that strength to do it? Also, what's up with the dream-travelling 'rules'? And what was the logic behind Dea getting sick if she didn't visit the dreams? Even though the big reveal was supposed to explain these, I felt a bit unsatisfied with the answers. 

Dreamland was an entertaining read, and I can perfectly imagine people reading this novel on an autumn evening while it's raining cats and dogs outside. It's that kind of a novel. Even though the novel wasn't perfect, at least I was able to look past the flaws to some extent and just enjoy the creepy but fun ride Dreamland offered.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Goldseer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

Goodreads From Description

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Initial excitement: YAAH! 

Post-reading excitement: Meh.

I was so excited, so excited for Walk on Earth a Stanger - the premise sounded so different from the mainstream YA literature, and indeed it really was different. The setting takes place in 19th century America when the gold rush was at its finest, and the focus is on Leah, or Lee, who has a magical power - to sense gold when it's nearby. Of course, this curious ability of hers sets her on a course of events that end up being a start of great sorrow, but an adventure too. 

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of gritty western things, the blurb sounded so fascinating that I just knew I wanted to give the novel a shot. I mean, there are millions of possibilities what could happen in the book, both good and bad ones. So, I was aware that Walk on Earth s Stranger was going to be a very Western focused book, but I wasn't really expecting it to be so Western with the bandits and their shotguns. But you really can see the amount of research the author must have done while planning and writing the novel, and while it was impressive in its own, it confirmed my, well not dislike, but apprehension towards the time period. 

To my liking, there was too much about the practicality and technicality of the 19th century's gold rush, and too little of the supernatural. In fact, in my opinion the 'goldseer' element neglected. I can imagine that those who are really interested in the time period, the novel will be a real treat for them, but for me the worry for the cows and different troubles with the wagons weren't that exciting. And the thing is that there was so much description about the ways and customs of that time, and I found myself skimming through those passages. Even though they could've been interesting to others.

That being said, the relationships and the dynamics between the people were quite something else. I loved that there were plenty of characters (even so that the author had decided to include a list of them in the beginning of the book), and how they interacted with each other, mainly with our heroine, Lee. The dialogues were always entertaining and I never got the feeling that the dialogues were stalling or unnecessary bulks just to fill up the pages. They were smart and well written, and such conversations between characters always make me appreciate the authors' dedication to dialogues. 

What I really liked about the novel though, was the depiction of the gender roles in the 19th century, something that you can still see even this day. A minor spoiler: the fact that Lee had to disguise as a boy brought light to the interesting topic, how a person is treated differently based on her gender, even if the actions are almost identical. Vice versa, it was interesting to read what men were expected to do and what code to live by. This subject was quite subtle most of the time, but occasionally the stark contrast between the expectations of women and men were striking and honestly a bit appalling from time to time. But hey, that's history for you and I think things have been a lot worse as well. And it was interesting as well to read about it. 

Even though I really enjoyed the storyline in general, the number of characters, and the bit more serious topics, I was also a bit bored from time to time too (the first 25% was really intriguing and exciting, and then towards the end the story got better, but the middle part was dragging). I didn't really find the excessive details of that time or the long descriptions of traveling in that time very appealing. Lee was a great heroine and I seriously think that the second novel is going to be so much better than the first one, but I'm not sure if I have to motivation to invest in this series. We'll see.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#33): Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Waiting on Wednesday is about sharing a book every week you cannot wait to be published. 

This week, I'm waiting on

Wink Poppy Midnight
by April Genevieve Tucholke

Description from Goodreads

The intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the "supernatural or not" question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.

Genre: Young adult, Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary, Fantasy

Pages: 352

Expected Publication: March 22, 2016

Publisher: Dial Books

I've read exactly one book from Tucholke: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I think it was about two and half years ago and probably a hundred books later, but still the book still lingers in my mind. Why you may ask? Because the story was so haunting, so lyrical, and so unique, that I was equally perplexed and fascinated by it. 

I remember thinking that I have no idea how I should rate it, should I give all the five stars or just two stars? I ended up giving it a solid three, even though later on I've thought that it definitely deserved more.

And now a new book is coming from Tucholke!! And look at that intrigue - I need to have this book. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#31): From a Book to a Movie

Top Ten Tuesday this week is about 

 Top Ten Books to Movies I Can't Wait 
(In no particular order)


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them  IMDB || Goodreads 

Ready Player One IMDB || Goodreads 

Beauty and the Beast IMDB || Goodreads 

 The 5th Wave IMDB || Goodreads 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II IMDB || Goodreads 

The Martian  IMDB || Goodreads 

A Monster Calls IMDB || Goodreads 

Looking For Alaska IMDB || Goodreads 

The Jungle Book IMDB || Goodreads

So the Martian was released on October, but I still haven't seen it OR read the book which is a total bummer considering how much people have seemed to like it. I once contemplated buying it from a grocery store as I read through the first page of it there, but I don't know why the book didn't end up in my basket!  

Needless to say, the rest of the books/movies make my fangirl go crazy - especially Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The 5th Wave, Ready Player One, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II!!!

I wasn't super excited for the Jungle Book because it has never been my favourite story, but then I saw the cast... And then the trailer... And I was sold.

Bring on 2016 and 2017!!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Description from Goodreads

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world. 

I have so many feels at the moment. Those who had read the book, must know what I'm talking about here. The book was quite massive compared to the other YA books - glorious 645 pages in total. So much happened in those pages, and I was such a hot mess after finishing Queen of Shadows. The series has slowly, but surely become one of my favourite YA series, and the book once again proved that fantasy YA is definitely my thing. No doubt in my mind. And Maas has been developing so much throughout the series as a writer. I couldn't help myself but to just pause at times and admire some of the passages that she had written; the depth of emotion, action and dialogue just blew me away.

Haha, seriously I'm not sure where to start? Where can I since there are so many things that I want to talk about?? I actually postponed writing this review for weeks because I just wasn't sure how I could write a good review without all the fangirl nonsense gurgling. 

Well let's start off with Arobynn, since we FINALLY get to see him not through flashbacks or descriptions but in the moment, in the present. Ahh, I have such a twisted and complicated relationship with Arobynn. I know that I should hate him for the horrible acts and the person he is, but I just, kind, love him as well. Or maybe I should specify that, I love how the character is build. I've always been a sucker for well developed villains, and Arobynn is, hands down, one of the best villains out there. Seriously. He is so complex, so evil, kind of hot too, so manipulative, so smart, so ambitious, and so possessive! He is literally the personification of Satan, but I still seem to love him. Please tell me that I'm not the only one? Tell me that I'm not a twisted person for liking him so much even though he is one the major sources of grief for basically everyone.

And how about the plot. THE PLOT! I probably could've taken notes worth of several notebooks because the storyline was so entertaining, surprising, well-planned, sad, happy, just pretty much any adjective that you can come up to describe a well-written novel. Plotwise Queen of Shadows is my favourite book out of the four instalments without a doubt. Even though there were some events that annoyed/saddened me quite a bit relationship-wise, but I could totally understand why Maas had decided write the relationships as she did - the plot needs to be kept fresh and moving along. 

And that takes us to the relationships. So, I hope I'm not spoiling too much when I say this, but oh damn, there was so serious tension going on in Queen of Shadows between Aelin and this hot dude you all know of... I have to say that even though the romance is well justified, and I can totally see it, but.. I don't know. When the guy in question had his own point of view, he just came across to me as this beast who just wanted to devour Aelin - a hormone-ridden sex maniac (I might be going a bit far with that). I guess what I'm trying to say here is that even though the relationship was hot, I didn't really like it, but I might have liked it better if I hadn't read his point of view of the events. I had LOVED and ADORED this guy before and I was so happy that he continued to be a major character in the story, but I would be lying if I said that he was everything that I imagined him to be. To me, he was way cooler and likeable before Queen of Shadows. Now he was just glorifying Aelin and dreaming about her every minute he got, which I also get, because he is in love with her. But still. Whyyyyy? He ended up being so predictable and one-dimensional. He has no mystery left in him at all, and I think that bugs me the most. I LOVE MYSTERIOUS GUYS.

We also get a bunch of new characters or we get to know some newer characters more in depth, which of course is awesome! We get Lysandra, a courtesan who was Aelin's arch-enemy back in the day, we get a lot more of Manon which was extremely nice because I think I have a bit of crush on her now, and then there is Aedion who has had my heart since the first line he uttered, and lastly Elide who will surely play a bigger role in the upcoming books. Even though the main story/Aelin's point of view was definitely my main thing in the book, I did come to enjoy also Manon's point of view, more so than in Heir of Fire. This probably was because Manon is faced with some dilemmas that she has to figure out on her own and make drastic decisions about her future - whether to follow the orders or do what her ice-cold heart tells?

The story was so epic, so monstrous in feelings and actions, and even though the book was rather long, I can't say that I was bored at any time. Some people have been saying that they felt like majority of the book was just one big build-up but I didn't feel that way. At all. Sure the book did go towards this one big event, but I mean, there was so much more happening in there as well with the relationships and character development-wise. And oh boy, was the wait for the big finale worth it? Absolutely. It has to be one of my favourite action-sequences because there was fighting, desperation, tears, fire, magic, demons, stabbing, twists, just ahhh. So good. 

So, the book did have a very conclusive ending, but as we all know that the fourth book won't be last one, and there were some clues what might happen in the future. And of course we all are waiting desperately to know what the author has up in her sleeve for later! Very excited. 

In sum, I think Queen of Shadows was the best book of the series plot-wise, but romance-wise slightly disappointing as at times I felt like I was reading a harlequin novel, hmm.. The actions scenes and the newer characters were obviously amazing and I can't wait to see what kind of impact they have on the later on events! GREAT, EXCITING NOVEL. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sunday Post (#29): Weekly Recap

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead." 
 What I read this week 

❄ Assassin's Apprentice (Faseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb

✿ Reviews ✿

❄ A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis 
❄ Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prines 
❄ Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

✿ Memes ✿

❄ Top Ten Tuesday: Debut Authors
❄ Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton 
❄ Stacking the Shelves 

✿ Around the blogosphere and elsewhere ✿

❄ First Stills of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" 
❄ NanoWrimo

✿ What else I've been up to this week ✿

1. NaNoWriMo. I had no idea that such a wonderful annual event took place! I think I was super lucky that I had my nose buried in my laptop last Sunday because I came across a post where the blogger was hyping about the upcoming month. And you may ask why? Because of National Novel Writing Month! 

So it's my first year participating in this, but I'm loving it so much already. The basic idea is like the name suggest: write a novel within a month, or in other words, 50 000 words. What I've seen a lot around is that you just focus getting that 50K by the end of the month, to get the story out there, and then edit the shit out of it later. NaNoWriMo isn't just about writing alone either, but there are writing sprints, competitions, and talks with famous authors (yesterday it was with Marissa Meyer, she is so aweosome). The community is so supporting and welcoming, which makes me feel like this is my 10th time participating.

My progress so far is that I reached 20k yesterday and hoping to have 25k by tonight!

I don't know if all this that I'm just being in this weird frenzy writing not doing much else (I haven't even read that much!!) sounds nerdy or cool to you (I think it's super cool). But I'm enjoying it so much, even though I've been a bit isolated this week. Whoopsie.

✿ Have a lovely Sunday! ✿

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#25)

It's Saturday and so it's time for Stacking the Shelves!
Here is my haul from this week:

❄ Edelweiss 

by Kathy McMillan 

Description from Goodreads

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

by Sarah Ahiers

Description from Goodreads

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

by Heidi Heilig 

Description from Goodreads

Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1)
by Cinda Williams Chima

Description from Goodreads

The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it? 

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death. 

So excited for all of these! I'm currently reading Sword and Verse and I feel like it's getting better and better with each chapter. I'm about half way done with it, and I'm just so afraid that it all will end in heartbreak! But really do enjoy it, and I just can't wait to get to the other books. Especially Flamecaster - I'm a huge fan of the Seven Realms series by Williams Chima! 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

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.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dumplin' has to be one of my favourite contemporary reads so far, and that's quite a lot said when I can honestly say that the year 2015 has been creme de la creme when it comes to compelling contemporary books - even though I'm usually the fantasy and sci-fi geek girl, the contemporary releases this year have been my favourites so far. The level of characters' depth, the issues handled, and the inviting writing styles just have been right up my alley, and Dumplin' is a great example of that kind of book.

As sad as it is, I can't recall reading a book in which the main character was "fat" or one in which the readers were constantly reminded that the main character was a plus-size girl. This realisation hit me pretty hard - how small population of teenagers really are represented in the YA, and perhaps in majority of the genres. Dumplin' wasn't just body-weight positive, but also a personification of the praise for individuals of all shapes and sizes and whatever characteristics or quirks, body or personality related, people might have. The novel was a breeze of fresh air with the most relatable and realistic, authentic and sympathetic characters, and their stories which will have an impact on the readers. As naive as this might sound, the book itself didn't feel naive.

Dumplin' could have easily become a very cliché story about a big, small town girl who aspires to change to her town's perception of the overweight people and how everything ends up being happy and beautiful in the end, but Murphy didn't fall for that trap. Instead, she wrote a smart and thought provoking novel, deeply rooted in the reality and in the knowledge that even though the world can be a wonderful place, it can be also a cruel and sad one too. And thanks to this decision, the novel reached a completely new level of respect that a book can get from me. 

But the book by Murphy wasn't just about being body-positive and commentary about accepting yourself as you are, but it was also sassy and funny, mainly thanks to Willowdean and her quirky friends. A huge plus from me that the novel had a huge element of friendship in it - the depiction of the friendships were very on point in all aspects.  And of course, there was Bo.. Bo, Bo, Bo, Bo. What should we do with you? Bo is Willowdean's co-worker, and a true babe at that, and Willowdean has had a huge crush on him since forever. Their relationship was so intriguing and fun to read about as it wasn't the typical teenager relationship that you can read about in generic YA novels, but there were ups and downs, and then a bit more downs. Some people probably won't like their relationship as much as I did, but the fact that there were so many mixed feelings and twists that kept me entertained and wanting more, caused me really like the dynamic between Willowdean and Bo - it wasn't predictable or boring, ever. 

I'm seriously considering pumping up my rating to five stars, but I think I need to reread the book before doing that. Even though I fiercely liked the novel, I give my 5 stars sparingly, and I want to keep it that way - just because with the all five stars I can really emphasise how special the novel was. And Dumplin' was special, almost one of a kind, and I'm really looking forward to reading the novel again as I'm sure it can handle the scrutiny that comes with the second reading. In fact, I'm almost positive that I'll like Dumplin' even more that time. But for now, I'll keep the rating at four starts, but I have to emphasise how cool yet meaningful this novel was. Excellent read.