Title: The Sugar Queen
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Source: Personal library
Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge
First Sentence: "When Josey woke up and saw the feathery frost on her windowpane, she smiled."
Summary (From back of book):
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 Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them -- and who has a close connection with 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.
My Two Cents:
This was yet another home-run hit from Sarah Addison Allen. Her books are always sweet little stories (With some underlying darkness) that have some magic thrown in. I didn't like this one quite as well as I liked The Girl Who Chased the Moon, but it's pretty close up there as my favorite of her books.
Josey is a character with whom a lot of people can identify. She's somewhat overweight (Although we're never really sure if that's true or if it's just her perception of herself); she's unhappy in the life she leads, but she stays put out of a sense of obligation; she's got big dreams that she allows herself to think of only in the privacy of her own room. She's meek, especially when face-to-face with her mother, but she's got a little bit of sass that shows itself when necessary. I really liked her as a character.
Della Lee was also another great character. She's so out there that you can almost imagine her as one of those off-beat waitresses who works at greasy spoon diners. The darkest storyline in the book surrounds her, but it is so secondary to the rest of the story that the darkness doesn't intrude. I liked that Allen was able to put something a little more sinister into the book without it overpowering the rest of the story.
As always, Allen peoples her book with a host of other great, memorable characters. If I were to talk about each and every one of them, this review would be at least half as long as the book. Suffice it to say that you will not want for a likeable, fun character when reading this book.