SPOILER ALERT!! Do not read on if you are not looking to spoil either (or both) of these book endings for yourself
***** You have been warned!!
Here's the crux of my problem: Both books are about characters who come to love and appreciate their bodies, but they are also about characters who chose the hot, not so nice person who will finally come around to being with them. They both throw over the awesome, always there nice guy who liked them all along for just being themselves for the person who finally decided they were, I guess, worth it in the end. Not exactly super inspiring. If the idea is that girls of any size should be appreciated for who they are, why do they have to end up with hot people who are not such awesome people aside from being hot?
It killed me when Willowdean in Dumplin throws away Mitch like he means absolutely nothing to her because she just feels that magic with Beau, who treated her like a dirty secret at the beginning of the book. And Leah running off to be with Abby when Garrett is being so sweet and likes her for who she is. (Also, the way she has no problem screwing over her friend Nick is a little off-putting, as well). Why do these girls refuse to find "magic" with great people who treat them well? What's so magical about someone treating you like crap?
So, while I enjoyed both of these books, I just can't get onboard with the happily ever afters because they felt like settling for something less in both cases. Maybe Mitch and Garrett weren't the ones. The magic just wasn't there. Still, each of these characters could have been way kinder to them and then gone off to find a nice person (male or female) who treated them the way they deserved to be treated from the beginning.
Enjoy these books if you want to, but please promise me in your real life you'll give those nice folks a chance when they turn up!