Puddin’ Left Me Torn



By: Julie Murphy

I have been sitting on a Puddin’ review for a month (which I have never waited so long on anything involving actual pudding ever) and despite multiple tries I’ve never felt like it was right.

And I don’t know why because there is a lot to say about this sequel to Dumplin. It wasn’t like finishing a book and thinking yeah, that happened but I have nothing to say about it. I had feelings about Puddin’.

Continue reading “Puddin’ Left Me Torn”

Books, Movies, Other

Zodiac Sign Recommendations: Aquarius

zodiac sign book recommendations

Well the Aquarius sign holds a special place in my heart. It’s traits include: true bohemian, logic combined with creativeness, a concern for the underdog and human rights. They are also gifted communicators, team players and full of great humor. But full of contradictions (like most people.) So I tried to pick the recommendations that most played into those.

I do like that one of the “issues” is flashes of unexpected rage. Um, yeah. I got that…

For a daily or monthly chart check out the Elle Daily Horoscopes.

Continue reading “Zodiac Sign Recommendations: Aquarius”


Dumplin’, Friendship & Growing Up



Directed By: Anne Fletcher

Grade: B+

Dumplin’ is based on the Julie Murphy book of the same name and is showing on Netflix. Which is generally having a good run of YA adaptations. It’s about Willowdean Dixon a plus size girl who as form of protest (and grief) joins her mother’s beloved beauty pageant and inspires several other girls who normally wouldn’t to do the same.

Continue reading “Dumplin’, Friendship & Growing Up”

Books, Other

Book Inspired Summer Adventure Ideas!

Summer Adventure Mamma Mia

Below are some ideas for a summer adventure, trip, activities or just a fun day out and if you don’t want to or can’t do any of them you can just check out the books that inspired them!

Continue reading “Book Inspired Summer Adventure Ideas!”


10 Love (and Life) Lessons I Took from Books

Harley and Batman

*It’s possible that I’ve learned some of the wrong lessons from books. Regardless books always help me feel better in a pinch. This is inspired by Top Ten Tuesdays hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I am not all the big into Valentine’s Day or the most romantically inclined person overall but this is what came to mind!

Continue reading “10 Love (and Life) Lessons I Took from Books”





Author: Julie Murphy

Genre: YA

Grade: B+

I have seen this one all over the place the last couple of weeks getting a lot of press and a lot of great reviews. So I was really excited to read it. In this kind of situation there is really only one question… Does it live up to the hype?


In some ways.

Willowdean is happily living her life in Texas with her mother, her best friend and her relatively good job at Harpy’s. She’s is overweight. It was sometimes hard for me to picture Willow in my head. She’s a pretty confident happy go lucky person until two things happen: she strikes up a romance with co-worker Bo and winds up entering in the big town pageant that her mother runs.

Willowdean is where the hype works. She’s just an all around great and very relatable character. She loves herself and sometimes she doesn’t. She’s fine with her body and then sometimes she hates it. She loves her family and friends but she’s hard on their weaknesses and flaws. In large part because she doesn’t see them as accepting hers. She’s confident but she also knows the world is cruel. Julie Murphy writes Willowdean very well even the times you don’t like her.

She’s also a very funny character quick to crack a joke with a love of Dolly Parton that made me head to iTunes after reading.

It falls down a little for me in two parts of the story. First Bo is almost too perfect. He’s like Prince Charming come to life and at the same time I never felt like I knew him which made it hard to really buy into the romance part. Second I wish they had done more with the pageant. It’s a big part of the last half of the book but then kind of tapers out. I really like the girls who compete because Willowdean entering made them brave. I wish they had done more with them. Also despite Willowdean constantly saying it was a big deal that she had entered and her mother saying she wasn’t going to get any special treatment… It really didn’t seem to be.

So in the end great main character with a really relatable voice makes the book. This is the second novel of Julie Murphy’s that I’ve read (the first being Side Effects May Vary) and I’m really looking forward to reading whatever comes next for her.

Recommend: Yes. It was overall very enjoyable and a nice break from the characters with special powers/hidden royalty stuff that I’ve been reading to much of lately.

Books, Other

Other Thoughts: OwlCrate Book Subscription First Timer!



 So I’m a huge sucker for the beauty boxes and I’ve gifted a couple of book boxes before but this was the first time I had some extra money and decided to subscribe for myself. OwlCrate turned out to be awesome timing as it was the fun, fearless women of YA month!

 It’s around $35 after shipping so was it worth it…

IMG_1122 Hermione Granger prints (with Crookshanks!) & a Divergent Dauntless tote bag. One of the postcards had a 10% discount for a subscription box for cats and the tote bag is really nice quality even though I’m not really into Divergent.


 The box also included a really nice “arrow” necklace obviously representing Katniss from the Hunger Games. This is from the Crystal Compass shop and again I appreciate the quality. I’ll definitely be wearing it when the last movie rolls around.

There was also a little Dany keychain from Pop!

And now for the book:


I was honestly thinking/hoping it was going to be Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. Not only has the book gotten good reviews but it fulfills one of the last squares for the Great Imaginations game. There’s also the sticker and a nice little note from the author.

Shipping was fast. I mean it was super quick. I got the box before I got the e-mail saying it had shipped! Plus customer service was on top of things when I had a question and they even followed up! So I must say for this month I am super pleased with the box and will continue through the end of the year at least.

So far I think it was worth the money and it’s such a treat getting a beautiful hardcover book in the mail!