Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (book review)

Dumplin'Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

AH-mazing! So realistic, it felt like I was reading my high school diary. The one I tossed into the dumpster in a fit of embarrassment one day in my late-twenties after I'd made the mistake of re-reading it when I was in a bad place in my life, madly in unrequited-love with someone who could never love me back. I thought I was done with love. Now, I'm middle-aged, madly in love, married to the perfect guy for me. I would love to read over my old diary from high school. To reconnect with my younger self. To see how much I've grown. What was I thinking all those years ago, giving up hope, unable to imagine the love I'd find some day? Tossing out thoughts like they were trash.

Grownups in our society too often ridicule teenage girls. Silly things. So easily upset. So emotional. So moody and self-absorbed and myopic. We brush off their thoughts and feelings as if they are insignificant.

That's what I love so much about young adult fiction. Good young adult fiction, like Dumplin'. It takes teenager's thoughts and feelings seriously.

Guess what? When we're experiencing first love, we all feel awkward. And exhilarated. When we're not kids anymore, but not adults yet either, we're caught between feeling independent from our parents (I am NOT going to be like Mom and Dad!) and wanting to cling to them and have them assure us that everything will be OK.

If you don't remember what it's like to be a teenager, you probably won't appreciate Dumplin' too much. But I do. I feel like I've found my long lost self, and I just can't help but keep smiling and cheering her on.

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