Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Published: June 1st, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 276
Copy: From Publisher 
Summary: Goodreads

I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.
Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves.
When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother.
Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.
When I was approached by the publicist for this book I have to admit to being a little wary about reading 'Sugar'  I don't read a lot of contemporary 'issue' books and I tend to find them a little underwhelming for me.  This was definitely NOT the case with 'Sugar'
I found it to be surprisingly compelling and I just loved Sugar's voice.  The idea that someone would have to put up with so much negativity day in and day out actually repelled me.  I used to be skinny - now I am considerably older and could definitely do with losing a few pounds, but in general I am very happy with my self image. To have someone constantly talking to me and treating me the way Sugar is treated would be devasting and Sugar's reactions, while totally foreign to me, were so totally understandable. It made me rethink some of my opinions.
Even was an amazing character.  His outlook on life was uplifting almost and it was so nice to see a character that did not follow along with the crowd and was comfortable in his own skin.  He's such a genuine character and  I would seriously love to meet him and have him for a friend.  
 There is a very, very sad interlude that had me absolutely blubbering and I almost gave up on the story, but I soldiered on and I was thrilled with the ending of the book.  This story is really about overcoming the odds and believing in yourself.  'Sugar' demonstrates that this is not always as easy as we wish it could be and in the end I wanted to hang out the flags, bring in the band and shout 'Well Done'.  If I could enjoy 'Sugar' as much as I did, it should be an absolute must read for those of you out there who regularly read contemporary fiction.


  1. Wow, such a beautiful review. Thank you for the review. I too have received the book from the author, and am planning to read it very soon, but after this review, I got a head-start! :-)

  2. Great review!

    This book sounds great, I can't wait to read it :)