Review of Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

By: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Release Date: June 1st 2015
Publisher:  Skyscape
Format: Paperback
Source: McDuffie Communications

A copy of this book was sent to me in consideration of an honest review.

I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.

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.

My Thoughts:
I’ll admit, when I saw this show up unsolicited on my doorstep I wasn’t overly enthused to read it. I’m not huge into contemporary books and so I didn’t think I’d get much enjoyment of this particular book.

I try to always give every book that lands at my house a chance so decided one night to give it a start. I was surprised with how quickly I was sucked into the story and how much my heart hurt for Sugar. I became really interested in her plight, home life and really the story. I felt her pain and was as excited as she was as she started to become friends with Even.

Her family drama was awful and painful to read. It felt like it could be someone’s life so that made it even harder to read. The people in Sugar’s life were so abusive and uncaring it broke my heart. I tried to find something likeable about Mama or Skunk but I just couldn’t. It did feel realistic that Sugar would have stuck with them though. I could see her point of view clearly and it was really insightful.

The author used a bit of a heavy hand on the issues she presents. I felt like it was maybe a bit too heavy here and there but it did not detract me from the story. Once Even really enters the story we get to see some hope for Sugar-he shows her kindness which she was so very lacking in every aspect of her life. This book was a painful read and though I do wish that Sugar could have found strength less from her feelings towards a boy I still felt the chemistry between them and rooted them on. I wanted Sugar to find happiness and learn to love who she was.

Final Thoughts:
This book was so out of my normal genres but once I started I was hooked and I had to know where Sugar’s story was headed. This was emotionally difficult to read and it brought me to tears which isn’t all that common.


  1. says

    Gorgeous review Kristen 😀 Yay for giving this book a chance. <3 I'm so glad you ended up liking it a whole lot 🙂 Thank you for sharing about it. <3 Not my favorite genre either, ugh. So not trying this one just yet ;p Though you make it seem awesome 😀

    • says

      Thanks Carina! It is totally not my typical type of book and honestly nothing I’d have chosen on my own. I’m really glad that I read it though.

  2. says

    This is one I actually really want to try! I have been hearing so many amazing things about this one, and how it really is an emotional story that makes you feel for the character, as you did. It deals with a lot of difficult themes and it sounds like it handles them well.

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