May 2024
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Review: The Sugar Queen, Sarah Addison Allen

Ever since she was nine years old and her father died, Josey Cirrini has been trying to make up for her awful childhood by essentially waiting on her mother hand and foot.  Josey does not have a life outside of the house; she doesn’t have any friends and everyone remembers her for the devious deeds she performed as a small girl, like kicking shins and stealing chocolate cake, even though her family should be the foremost in the community.  Her life changes when Della Lee appears in her closet, on the run from a destructive relationship and looking for a place to hide.  Not only does Della Lee encourage Josey out of her shell, but she guides her to Chloe, who becomes Josey’s friend and who desperately needs a friend herself to help her through the discovery that her long-time boyfriend has cheated on her, and closer to Adam, the mailman on whom Josey has had a crush for the past three years.

There is almost too much sugar in this book for words.  I liked it, but it’s very, very sweet and cute and it’s a book you really need to be in the mood for.  Everyone gets what they want even when they don’t know they want it, except for the characters who are just bad and you know it.  The best part was easily watching Josey come into her own and watching Adam fall for her (it’s obvious that he’s going to – just couldn’t happen any other way in this kind of book) since she’s been so stifled for so many years.

I enjoyed the little magic edge in this book, just like in Allen’s other book, Garden Spells. In this one, books follow Chloe around, and whenever she and her boyfriend kiss, water boils in the coffeepot, which I thought was cute.  There are a couple of other magical happenings, but they are spoilery.  There is also an appreciation for books in this.  At one point, Chloe is viewing a house and discovers that there is a closet full of books.  The owner tells her the realtor had him put them away because books are clutter, and both characters agree (as do I of course) that books could never be clutter.

This isn’t really a new story.  It doesn’t do anything original.  It’s just a cute, quick read, and if you’re in the mood for something sweet, The Sugar Queen may be the book for you.


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