Dumplin’

DumplinGoodreads Synopsis:

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.

Hello bookish friends! Long time, no see. I finally have some time to catch up on my ever-needed blogging, so first up is Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. If you’ve seen my Goodreads account, you know that I gave this beauty 4 stars.

I loved this book because it is me. I know some of you have been following me for a while now, and you know from my review of 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson (see here), that I have struggled with my weight and body issues for a while now. Reading Dumplin’ made me feel those same things.

I know you’re thinking it. No, I have never competed in a Beauty Pageant because: a.) Stage fright, b.) I don’t have any talents I can perform – reading silently onstage isn’t really a talent, c.) The idea of walking around on stage showing of outfits and answering interview questions, just doesn’t sound fun to me – then again.

Willowdean is me. I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and dislike how I looked, my weight, the way my hair didn’t curl normally, etc. Even now on my current weightloss journey, it is still difficult for me to accept things sometimes. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and a hormone imbalance in February 2016, that I came to accept that losing weight was always going to be difficult for me. Any time I lose weight, I gain it back quickly. This year I’ve given up soda and fast food (very difficult for me, but going strong!), I’ve lost around 7 pounds and have been able to keep it off.

Willowdean’s story reminds me of how I wish stories like this were around when I was in middle school and high school. I think if I had an inspiring story like this, I would have had better self esteem in those years, and probably would have stood up for myself in certain situations that are still in the back of my mind.

Dumplin’ is a story for anyone who has ever felt fat, insecure, anxious, and all around not good enough. We are good enough. We are all beautiful. Other people’s opinion’s don’t determine your worth, so don’t even waste your time thinking about them.

This book is positive, funny, enlightening, and deals with realistic everyday issues besides body image, such as complex/dysfunctional families and friends in unlikely places. In the words of Willowdean, “I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.”

Apparently, this is just book 1 in a series of some sort. I haven’t heard anything on a sequel, but I will definitely be checking it out when it comes out!

Next on the #BloggingCatchUp is What Light by Jay Asher.

Happy reading bookworms.

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Four: A Divergent Collection

18126198Goodreads Synopsis:

Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

To begin, I am not one to read novellas, but it came in my box set, so of course I decided to read it. Plus, it was recommended by my sorority little sister!

Anywho, this book made me so happy. I love being able to learn more about Tobias. We see him transform from Tobias the “Stiff” and son of Marcus, to Four, the Divergent and future leader of the rebellion. And in all honesty, seeing this transition for Four, makes me love him so much more. I would love to see these played out in some deleted scenes of sort or a short TV movie.

HOWEVER, I am glad I read it AFTER I finished the Divergent Series, because Four/Tobias’s mysterious demeanor was not hindered by reading his backstory first. Four is meant to be mysterious, and I feel reading this book first would have ruined the series for me.

I can’t really put into words how these four short stories made me  feel. If you’ve read the entire Divergent Series, I would definitely check this out.

Here’s Theo James for your viewing pleasures:

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Life Update + Insurgent: Book vs. Movie

Hello bookworms! As you can tell I have been on a slight hiatus due to school – it is kicking my butt! On a happy note – my first session of grad school is over and I received a 4.0! So excited! I finally have a break, so I am catching up on all of my blogging from August (sadly only textbooks were read during September and October). Now time to catch up!

11735983Goodreads Synopsis:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

When I finished Divergent and started Insurgent I tweeted:

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I got addicted to the first two books fast because Insurgent picks up from the exact spot Divergent ended. I do have to say I enjoyed Divergent just a little bit more than Insurgent. Insurgent was full of twists, turns, and completely action packed. The story focuses on Tris and her search for answers to all questions about divergence. We also see her relationship with Four blossom during this difficult time – and it gives you all the feels! Like this:

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And this:

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However, there was another cliff hanger ending – and we all know how I feel about cliffhangers:

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Movie Insurgent had some changes, but didn’t sway from the book too much. I still choose the book over the movie! I love Miles Teller but I hate him in this series. I just want to punch his smug little face in every time his face was on the screen. Also, Theo James is beautiful with his deep, husky voice –> Theo James Speed Dating Questions

That’s all for now. Look for my next blog post on Allegiant! Keep reading bookworms. Have a great Veterans Day weekend!

 

 

 

Dream Catcher Trilogy

Hello lovelies! I finally have some extra time to catch up on some blogging! Here is my review of the Dream Catcher Trilogy by Lisa McMann from the month of June!

1661957Wake (#1)

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant.

I was really excited for this book. The plot sounded interesting, but upon reading, I became disappointed. First off, I was excited for a supernatural-romance. However, Janie, the main character, met Cabel and suddenly they were head over heels for one another. In some books, escalated romances work, but this one, not so much.

The narration was irritating. It was a third-person, but present tense, and it didn’t work for the flow of the plot. Not to mention, the plot was very vague, weird, and choppy. I feel like this whole book was a generalized introduction for the other two books. As a reader I was not pulled in and wanting more until the very end, at which it ended in a cliffhanger and still no answers to any of the main questions.

Ultimately, I read rest of the trilogy simply because I wanted to see how they continue the story and connect to the “supernatural power” of falling into people’s dreams.

Fade

Fade (#2)

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

After reading all three books, I have to say that the second book is better than the first and third. This book shows a little more mystery in the plot and is more developed than the first, but the writing was still simple. However, the plot was a little far-fetched and not relatable for a high school student. I understand their is a sort of supernatural aspect to the book, but even the every day scenes weren’t entirely realistic.

After their whirl-wind romance in the first book, Cabel and Janie’s relationship was more developed and not so puppy-love-at-first-sight in this book. However, they are definitely that couple that needs to take a chill-pill because their relationship is a constant roller-coaster of emotions and moodiness.

7823635Gone (#3)

Things should be great for Janie—she has graduated from high school and is spending her summer with Cabel, the guy she’s totally in love with. But deep down she’s panicking about how she’s going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people’s dreams is really starting to take its toll.

Things get even more complicated when she meets her father for the very first time—and he’s in a coma. As Janie uncovers his secret past, she begins to realize that the choice thought she had has more dire consequences than she ever imagined.

In all honesty, I should have stopped reading after the second book. I had higher hopes for this book seeing as I had enjoyed the second more than the first, but this book was poorly written in comparison to the first two. The plot had a lot of WTF moments. I felt as though this book was meant to bring the trilogy full circle, but it felt like an extended epilogue that really should not have happened.

There is no real story. Janie mopes around for almost the entire book, and any depth or personality the characters had completely disappeared. The “romance” aspect completely disappeared. Why try to make us love characters – especially a sweet, over-protective guy like Cabel – and then take away the romance plot line? Hello! That is the only reason I picked up the third book, I was hoping for a redemption of love! Sadly that did not happen.

 

As for the series as a whole, it’s a quick, easy read. If you’re looking for a filler series in between heavy reading material like NYTimes Bestsellers, then this is a good choice for a dumbed-down, chillax read. I do wish this was all one book rather than three really short books. I also hated how there was zero consistency. In the first we discover Janie’s abilities; in the second we follow Cabel and Janie in an undercover sex scandal operation; in the third we meet Janie’s “dead-beat”, dying father and see Janie as a mopey brat, who would rather be by herself so she can keep her vision, instead of embracing her powers and being with the boy she loves and who basically worships the ground she walks on. There was no point to this story and I should have stopped at Fade. 

Alright lovelies, my next post will be featuring the incredible Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling! Happy reading!