Thursday, 16 July 2015

Review: Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Title: Sugar
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date:  June 1, 2015
Date Read:  July 15, 2015
Buy This Book: Amazon | Book Depository
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩
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.

I'm so emotionally drained after reading this. I didn't cry or anything but I felt so many internal emotions before finally settling on a warm, fuzzy feeling of happiness.

I felt for Sugar's character. I didn't like how submissive she was but I could totally see how she was emotionally and physically abused into believing that she had to put up with the disgusting acts of her horrible mother and brother. It was painful watching her live her life with these people. And even more painful to watch her silently put up with the bullying at school, no matter how cliche direct-from-a-typical-highschool-movie it seemed at times. It didn't even stop there. She's mocked in the grocery stores, the malls, the streets, everywhere.

"I hear the bullies at school and the bully in my own mind."

Everything is always bleak in Sugar's life so she stuffs her self with food to forget about her troubles. I'm sure all of us have binge-eaten to forget our sadness once in a while and I'm sure we've all felt the self-loathing that comes after but for Sugar (and many people out there), those dark moments are slowly taking over her life.

But then along comes Even. Not "Evan". Even because his dad is an illiterate, abusive douche that doesn't care at all about his son, including how his name is spelled. Despite his troubled home life, Even is a ray of sunshine in Sugar's dark world. He's caring, accepting, gentle and ambitious. He was such an adorable marshmallow and reminded me of this gif ~

so adorable, I WANT TO SQUISH
Truth be told, I often felt like he was too good to be true. Everything about him tended to be too perfect and too idealistic but maybe that's just how Sugar saw him. He was the only good thing that happened in her life so he was like a sun to her but only a flashlight to other people. Who knows? I still loved his friendship with Sugar and I loved how honest and healing it was but I also kind of wanted Sugar to do things for herself and for her happiness too, not just for Even. I didn't mind that he was the one to help her wake up and face the facts but did he really have to be the big reason why she changes her life? Mmm, no, I didn't quite like the message behind that.

“I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.”

The reason why I'm dropping my rating to 3 stars is because the story was well-paced at first but I really felt like it started to drag after three quarters of the book. I ended up skimming the rest, which is something I always try to avoid. I just couldn't finish without speed-reading. It was that slow and I also didn't like the way the story headed. There was a sudden turning point that felt so abrupt and out-of-the-blue and it just arrghhh. It almost made Even's character feel like a Manic Pixie Dream Boy. Luckily, he had dreams and aspirations of his own that developed or I really would have been pissed to find out that his character was just a PURPOSE, not a CHARACTER on his own.

In the end, this story might have been too long for its own good but I could relate to the characters and I appreciated the overall message to focus on your own health and happiness before everything else.

This review copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I've heard this was a very emotional and draining book. I hate when a book drags and you have to skim. I try to avoid it too but at least then I don't have to DNF it. Great review!

    1. It is very emotional! Mostly because you can't help but love Sugar so much so you feel all her feels. Thanks for visiting :")

  2. Hmm this was a 1-star book for me, but I'm glad you were able to enjoy it!

    1. Aw, that's sad to hear but I can see why in a way. It was quite slow :/

  3. Ohhh, that message is a GOOD message, so therefore I kind of want to try it. And is it bad to admit I'M IN LOVE WITH THAT COVER?! I love the perspective. Ahhhhh! AheM. But yes. Back to the book. Aw, but Even sounds absolutely ridiculously adorable. Probably too good to be true, but I still want to read about him. ;-) And Sugar! I just need to try this one, actually, I DO.

    1. The message definitely is great! THAT COVER IS SO DEEP FOR SOMETHING SO SIMPLE I'M SURPRISED. Even is too sweet but a girl can dream right? ;)

  4. This sounds really really interesting!

    1. It's very inspirational and emotional for sure :"D