Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 8th, 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
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.
This review is gonna short and sweet because I honestly don’t have as much to say about this one as other books. Puddin’ was cute and really fun, but I don’t believe that it quite reaches the 5-star level of Dumplin’.
I loved Millie and Callie a lot more than I thought I would, though–they made such a great pair. Millie is so unapologetic about everything and she is so excitable that you can’t help but like her (even if she would probably drive me a little nuts in person). And Callie is the total opposite. She tries hard to make it seem like she doesn’t care about other people, but fails just as hard. Her snark was hilarious and the best thing to read, especially when she used it in defense of her newfound friends.
Callie’s journey was really the highlight of this book for me, to be honest. She went through a ton of character development, and Millie didn’t go through nearly as much. But I did love the two of them as friends–they make a great unlikely duo, and I love that they hold each other up in different ways.
One reason why this lost a star for me, though, is that the plot was kind of…meh? Sure it had some great moments, but a lot of the book seemed to hint at a bigger, more interesting route to take that was never pursued. For example, Callie worries at one point that her boyfriend is racist—and then the topic is never explored again. Callie feels kind of out of place in her all-white household—and then again, the topic is dropped. It felt like Julie Murphy was trying to skirt around the racism issue enough to not get in trouble for ignoring it while at the same time not get in trouble for going too far. But it’s not like there’s a fine line between the two options. Murphy barely acknowledges that racism is a real thing that Callie deals with on a daily basis, choosing instead to just pepper little things throughout that aren’t dealt with by the end.
In all, I did like the book. It just wasn’t as good as Dumplin’.
PS: Can we talk about the Dumplin’ movie now and how Hannah has been hella whitewashed? She literally describes herself as “Afro-Latina” in Puddin’ and yet they have cast this girl:
It’s almost as if we’re only allowed one kind of minority per character in Hollywood (or sometimes even per movie)—Hannah can be gay or POC, but not both.
And come. On. Twitter. Where are you on this???? Has no one else noticed??? Anyway, rant over.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Did you know about this whole Hannah thing? Know anyone else yelling about it online, because I cannot find a single soul? Let me know in the comments!