This the companion book to Julie Murphy’s hit book Dumplin’, which is soon to be a movie, a book I loved. We’ve already met both main characters of Puddin’ in the previous book so it’s nice to have everything already established for us and get to jump right in. What’s great is you don’t have to read the first book to get what’s happening – either way you would be completely fine with your point of entry, and that is really important to have and I appreciate that the author was able to manage that here.
Millie and Callie are nothing alike and going into this book I already disliked Callie immensely because of how she acted in the previous book. Millie…I didn’t like, but I didn’t actively dislike either. I more had ambivalent feelings towards her. So I was extremely interested in how the author was going to redeem Callie and make me feel really anything towards Millie. Millie is that super positive, upbeat, marching to her own beat girl that has seemingly unlimited confidence and Callie is the harsh, mean girl of high school that doesn’t have very many true friends because who wants to be close to that kind of person?
I got the chance to meet the author in person at a book panel recently and hear her speak about this book. First of all, I highly recommend anyone getting to see her talk – Julie Murphy is hysterical in person. Second of all, she said that she could relate the most to Callie, because she was the mean girl in high school but wishes she was more like Millie. I loved to hear that insight because it kind of changed how I felt about the book. Over the course of the book I slowly began to like Callie more and more as she gets her redemption and her story is revealed. We begin to understand why she is the way she is and why she feels she needs to protect herself. But to hear that the author put so much of herself *into* Callie made me like her even more.
I clearly read mostly romance and this book does have a romance subplot but what’s clear here is that the main point of the book is the friendship. An extremely unlikely friendship develops between Callie and Millie. One that Callie herself can’t understand and I was basically questioning why through a good portion of the book. But by the end I was really rooting for this friendship to flourish and for both of these two to get what they want and need in life and it definitely seemed that this friendship provided that for them both.
Rating: 4 Stars
Author: Julie Murphy
Release Date: May 15th, 2018