Monday, June 14, 2010
Review: The Sugar Queen
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Pub Date: April 2009, Random House
Paperback, 294 pages
Book Source: Purchased from B&N @ Ga Tech
Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.... Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis--and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee's tough love, Josey's narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloey Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them-and who has a close connection to Josey's long-time crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that's just for starters.
Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love--and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.
Sarah Addison Allen may be fast becoming one of my favorite new authors. There is something so enjoyable about reading her books and I don't want to put them down or have them come to an end! Admittedly, The Sugar Queen is a wee bit predictable, but that didn't keep me from enjoying Josey's story.
One of Allen's strengths is her characters--every character in the story is a delight, whether their part is large or small. Della Lee may be "two parts fairy godmother" but she is unlike any fairy godmother you've read or heard about! Josey's friend Chloe has her own set of interesting problems, but I would certainly give anything to have one of them--books magically appear just when she needs them! Yes, there is a touch of magic in Allen's second book, and I think that is part of her book's charm. It's not an in-your-face supernatural story like many out there, but the little bit of magic makes the book that much more special. But back to the characters... Josey is a fantastic main character--she grows so much as you turn the pages and I know I was pulling for her as she realized with each new day there was more to life than being at home with only her mother and the house maid for companionship. And yes, there is a bit of romance in the story but it is not the sole focus of the plot and so makes for a nice addition to the story.
As with Garden Spells (read my review here) this story wraps up nicely at the end, though as horrible as this sounds, I don't know that I think Josey's mother deserved the happy ending she got. All-in-all I really enjoyed Allen's second book and look forward to reading The Girl Who Chased the Moon at some point down the road. If you are looking for a light read with a touch of magic and whimsy then you should pick up one of Allen's books and get lost in the worlds she creates.
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