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Puddin'

Review

Puddin'

From New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy comes the highly anticipated companion to DUMPLIN’. PUDDIN’ follows two vastly different high school students as they navigate family, friendship and their futures, ultimately becoming closer than either could have ever expected.

"PUDDIN’ is an excellent follow-up to DUMPLIN’. What it lacks in DUMPLIN’s pageantry and distinctly Texan atmosphere it makes up for with girl power and a heartwarming conclusion."

Millie Michalchuk has found her stride. After winning runner-up at the Miss Clover City beauty pageant last year, she’s ready to pursue her dream of becoming a newscaster. Millie’s done with the fat camp she’s gone to every summer and ready to finally kiss her crush. But when a shocking act of vandalism destroys her uncle’s gym, Millie is forced to work with someone she never thought she could get along with.

Callie Reyes knows where she belongs. A legacy member of the Shamrocks, Clover City High’s dance team, she’s next in line for team captain, and there’s nothing she cares about more. But when a major sponsor pulls the Shamrocks’ funding, Callie takes the fall for the team’s revenge. Stuck working a job she hates, Callie finds friendship in the most unlikely places, and discovers truths about herself she never thought existed.

PUDDIN’ is an excellent follow-up to DUMPLIN’. What it lacks in DUMPLIN’s pageantry and distinctly Texan atmosphere it makes up for with girl power and a heartwarming conclusion. PUDDIN’ is the rare kind of book that makes you forget you’re reading. The connection between Callie and Millie is so genuine in its buildup and depth that it seems real. As readers learn more about the girls they first met in DUMPLIN’ (DUMPLIN’s narrator, Willowdean, and others make appearances) they, too, sparkle off the page. Although this book is more about friendship than romance, the romantic interests are interesting and believable.

Though PUDDIN’ has many hallmarks of a typical teen novel, Murphy still manages to stay away from clichés and stereotypes. The plot is fresh and entertaining without being difficult to follow, and the leads are consistently relatable if not always likable. Fans of DUMPLIN’ and anyone looking for a feel-good read need look no further than PUDDIN’, a novel that proves the power of self-acceptance and the lasting nature of unlikely friendships.

Reviewed by Maggie Dow on May 29, 2018

Puddin'
by Julie Murphy