Review: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Posted October 16, 2020 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer DuganHot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 30, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ
Format: Hardcover (309 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
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Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She's landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou's never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who's always been up for anything, suddenly isn't when it comes to Lou's quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou's scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland--ever--unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan's sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love--and themselves--in unexpected people and unforgettable places.


Hot Dog Girl is the chronicles of Elouise’s best summer ever. She has a great job at an amazing theme park. Her crush is finally going to notice her. She’s going to have fun in the sun with her BFF. Of course, that’s not what happens. She’s assigned to be the dancing hot dog again, and the park is closing after this season. Her crush is still with his on-and-off again girlfriend. And things get complicated with said BFF.

I liked Hot Dog Girl. It was super cute, but Elouise’s thought processes were so baffling that I had trouble believing them. This is an established character flaw for her though. Everyone points out that her plans make no sense, and that she is an odd schemer, no matter the situation. To get close to her crush, she pretends to date her BFF, because…I don’t know. No one knows. But I like fake dating and this was an original twist. Then she decides to start a GoFundMe and hold a bake sale to “save” the theme park, without knowing why it’s actually closing (hint: it’s not money!). It all works out in the end though.

I did love how committed to this theme park Elouise is. I’m sure most of us have this special place that would devastate us if it ever closed. She does some questionable things in her plotting to keep the park open, but I did believe how much she wanted it to stay open. She manages to get a few of the other summer employees to help her out, but like I said, they pointed out that her plan isn’t the best since she doesn’t even know why it’s closing.

In the end, Hot Dog Girl is cute. Elouise is bisexual and uses the word! There is a kind of bisexual love triangle, since she has a crush on Nick, but starts fake dating her lesbian BFF, Seely. I’m sure you can guess how this turns out, but I won’t spoil it.

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