ARC Review | Pumpkin by Julie Murphy


by Julie Murphy

YA Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQ

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Waylon Russell Brewer is a fat, openly gay boy stuck in the small West Texas town of Clover City. His plan is to bide his time until he can graduate, move to Austin with his twin sister, Clementine, and finally go Full Waylon, so that he can live his Julie-the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music-Andrews truth.

So when Clementine deviates from their master plan right after Waylon gets dumped, he throws caution to the wind and creates an audition tape for his favorite TV drag show, Fiercest of Them All. What he doesn’t count on is the tape accidentally getting shared with the entire school. . . . As a result, Waylon is nominated for prom queen as a joke. Clem’s girlfriend, Hannah Perez, also receives a joke nomination for prom king.

Waylon and Hannah decide there’s only one thing to do: run—and leave high school with a bang. A very glittery bang. Along the way, Waylon discovers that there is a lot more to running for prom court than campaign posters and plastic crowns, especially when he has to spend so much time with the very cute and infuriating prom king nominee Tucker Watson.

Waylon will need to learn that the best plan for tomorrow is living for today . . . especially with the help of some fellow queens. . . .

*Thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!*

Hello everyone! Today I am going to be sharing all my thoughts on the upcoming Julie Murphy novel, Pumpkin. I have to admit, I haven’t read any of her other books but I knew as soon as I read the blurb for this book I needed it in my life.

Pumpkin follows the story of Waylon Brewer, a fat, openly gay boy who has to go on a journey of discovery when he sends an audition tape to a show in the vein of Rupaul’s Drag Race and it’s unwittingly shared with his entire school. And when he gets nominated for Prom Queen, he decides to run instead of cowering behind the joke and Waylon is going to need all the courage he can grasp.

This was so wholesome! I really enjoyed it – I thought Waylon was a fantastic main character. He had such a strong voice throughout that I was constantly rooting for him the whole way. I think this is what makes a good main character – when you make them feel so real that the reader has no choice but to get totally invested. I liked how he had his high and low moments, it really made for a balanced storyline – it also helped that he was a funny and relatable narrator!

I also really enjoyed all the side characters, I think they added some great dimensions to this book. I’m pretty sure they are characters from both Dumplin’ and Puddin’, so I’ll definitely have to get around to check those out. I thought the plot was fabulous and loved all the drag references. It felt like a mash-up of Glee and Rupaul’s Drag Race, which just so happen to be two of my very favourite shows.

Pumpkin is out in May, and I encourage you all to go check this out when it’s published – if you’re looking for a heartwarming but also tearjerking story of resilience in the face of confronting who you are and who you were born to be, then Pumpkin is the joyous novel for you!