Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Sugar Queen

This review has been delayed for quite some time (well before RWA), mainly due to my lack of NOT knowing what to write or even how. After seeing the glowing review from Ms. Nalini Singh, how could I not attempt this book? It's right up my ally full of sugary goodness. :D

Sarah Addison Allen’s mellow simple style is only part of the sweet oddity that is The Sugar Queen.
The blurb itself was kind of misleading, but does ultimately contain the underlying story connected through the main character, Josey Cirrini. While on the surface, The Sugar Queen may seem a bit on the ordinary side, but with a touch of powdered sugar and magical quality. Each chapter title is a type of candy, starting with Everlasting Gobstoppers moving onto SweeTarts, through Lemon Drops, Sugar Daddy (no, not the one from the greatest romance author ever ever…I’m okay, really, I am), Sour Patch etc., each hinting at the contents in that chapter.

Josey is twenty-seven, living at home, and eats tons of the sugar infused candy hidden in her closet. Josey is trapped (emotionally, thus physically as well), never goes out except to drive her mother around and rarely speak to anyone except the housekeeper.

This all changes the day she comes home and finds Della Lee in her closet, looking like a drowned rat. Della Lee threatens to reveal Josey’s very extensive collection of candy (it’s like a candy store she created herself throughout the years) if Josey does not hide Della Lee. And this is where the story begins.

Two subplots follow Josey’s mother and a friend Josey makes due to Della Lee intervention, Chloe. Josey’s mother who seems like a self centered, controlling and unloving woman, but the subplot does a great job showing the layers of different individuals. Chloe’s going through a relationship heartbreak, unsure whether to move on or give the man another chance.

The Sugar Queen is a very soft and sweet book dealing with the complexity of life through the simplest things. Like sugar, something seemingly small and insignificant, is actually a part of everything.

There were many instances were I felt akin to Josey, her situation in life and the choices she makes (though I'm not as gentle and sweet). The end was not unexpected and the author did not really make much of an attempt to hide certain twists. I really did enjoy the ending for it gives some resolutions, but kept in realistic enough that I felt this could possibly happen. With a little bit of magic, the book brings to life both the harsh realities and sweet possibilities if one was willing to take the chances.
Unfortunately, because of it's pace, I can't write too much without giving away the plot. Just think of this as the perfect book to read during the cold winter days when you're stuck inside the house with tons to do, but decidedly put everything off instead and drink some hot chocolate. ;)


  1. Is this a romance or a book w/ romantic elements? Or is this just chick lit? I love the title :)

  2. Gah, no chick. Just a book, think coming of age for a 27 yr old (heh) with romantic elements. She faded out the heavy made out, darn her! ;)
    The title got me too. :D And the chapter titles...then I got hungry. >_<