Book Review: Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genres: Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
Release Date: June 1st 2015
Review Source: Skyscape

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.

Sometimes you take risk with certain books that you haven't heard anything about. When I received Sugar I said no matter what I would finish it even if the synopsis didn't really grab me completely. Because it came highly recommend, so I didn't think I would be let down once I read Sugar. And guess what? I wasn't. I truly enjoyed reading Sugar. I will say it started off a little slow and I was a bit bothered with how the main character wouldn't speak up for herself, but then slowly all that began to change. And then I was hurrying up to finish to know how everything would turn out. 

Sugar is not only the title of the novel but the nickname the main character was given. Sugar has struggled all her life with her weight, her family and school bullying. I don't know how she hasn't given up, she is stronger that she gives herself credit. It's very hard to want to wake up each day knowing the craptastic day that awaits you. If it's not Sugar's own mom making fun of her, it's the students at her school messing with her. And Sugar's biggest issue is, she turns to sweets when she goes through all that. When I say she turns to them, she will eat sweets in an hour like someone might eat in a whole month. So her weight is a factor in all this. Poor Sugar on top of all that, has to take care of her mother even though she doesn't deserve it. Her mother is severely obese and can't even get out of bed anymore. So Sugar has to feed, clean and deal with her B.S. 24/7. Her only break from her mom is when she is at school. Her brother doesn't help, he is too busy hanging out with the guys to even care. You can't help but care deeply for poor Sugar. 

Trust me when I say their were moments in the book, I wanted to jump inside the pages and beat her mom or brother. Its been a long time since I've read a book where I have despise characters that much.  So when Sugar meets the new kid in town Even (yup, that's spelled right). Even and Sugar hit it off really well. They begin to hang out and I'll say this, Even affects Sugar in a very positive way, that she doesn't even realize it right away. You'll have to read to see what I mean. Sugar can't understand why a boy that soooooo good looking even likes to hang out with her but eventually one learns why. 

This book is definitely a treat. You'll get your rations of sweet and sad but worth the read. I recommend it to anyone that loves an inspiring story. I really love who Sugar became in the end. 

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