It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant.
Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.
My biggest complain about Dumplin’ was that I was not the biggest fan of our main character, Willowdean, and when I learnt about Puddin’ (aka when I was able to readd its synopsis because I hadd read Dumplin’ aka a month ago) I was so enthusiastic about it releasing because we were going to follow the sweetest and most precious character in Dumplin’, Millie. As I said in my review of Dumplin’, she was a delight and I wanted more of her in book 1, so when I knew she would be one of the leads in Puddin’, I could not wait. And she did not disappoint.
However, our other lead was Callie Reyes, who we are also introduced to in Dumplin’, and I did not know how to feel about that. Surprisingly, and for reasons I will not be discussing, these two characters get together in Puddin’ and my oh my, how fun that dynamic is. And not only that, but we see both characters grow consequently, and it is beautiful. As most people who have read Dumplin’, I was not a fan of Callie but here we get to see her perspective and how she sees the world and I was so happy to have been wrong about her. No, she is not a good person in Dumplin’, and is not either at the beginning of the book, but she is human, she is flawed, she is scared and she has doubts, and her evolution throughout the book is incredible and you learn to love and appreciate her.
And Millie is just great. Everything I said about her in my review of Pudddin’ still stands, but I just want to add that having her interact with Callie was not only good for the latter, but also for our lovely Millie. These two girls complement each other in ways that I could not have imagined at the beginning of the book. There is also a bit of romance in the book, which was not the focus of the story and rather than slow the pace, it movedd the plot along.
The other girls are also an important part of the story and whilst in book 1, I hoped to have more of them, here I did not. Not because I do not like them (I do!) but because I was too trapped in Millie and Callie’s storylines. I think the other girls appeared as much as they needed to, yet they still had their own storylines. And contrary to what happened in book 1, where I was let down by the actual plot of the book, here we focused more on the characters, which was so much better, and was already hinted in the synopsis.
Puddin’ is a sweet and cute story about friendship, coming together, discovering who you are and who your real friend are, and accepting and loving yourself. I encourage everyone to give it a go.
If you have read Puddin’, do you agree with you? Is this book on your TBR? Have you read Dumplin’? Have you read any other Julie Murphy books?