11 June 2015

Review #241: Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"People are starting to go on about my weight, but I'm not going to change my size because they don't like the way I look."


Deirdre Riordan Hall, an American writer, pens her new Young Adult contemporary fiction, Sugar which is about a fat teenage girl, a victim of constant bullying both at home and high school, who falls in love with a senior from her school and learns to find the light amidst so much darkness around her.

P.S: I encourage or rather say, plead every fat chick or non-pretty girl or anything that makes anyone a subject of constant bullying among their peers, to read this inspiring book which might not help you the way you want that help, but I'm very sure that it will give you hope and a new perspective as well as a direction to look at yourself lovingly and to find that respect for one-self. Go ahead, grab a copy of this book now and if midway through the book, you feel like you can't be able to take it anymore, then let me remind you, there's a light at the end of every dark tunnel and so for this young teenage girl, Sugar, give her a chance to find that light, and I believe along with her, you too will be able to find that shining new horizon.


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.

Sugar is an over-sized teenager and because of her size, she is a subject of constant bullying among her peers at her high school and also at her home. Now at her home, the condition is bit different, her mama is diabetic and she couldn't get out of the bed anymore because of her weight and her constant gorging on unhealthy fried food makes it even more difficult for her to do her normal personal daily routine like cleaning, showering etc, on the other hand, her elder brother, Skunk, is a mean over-weight guy who doesn't give a shit about his family or anything except food. This makes Sugar hide behind all the sweet, chocolatey, honey and caramel flavors of the world, well she is just hiding her pain behind sweet sugary food, which takes away her pain within a small bite. Then comes, Even, who changes her life like he isn't supposed to do that, who accepts her like she wasn't supposed to be and who shows her the better version of her which she never knew existed among layers of fat and skin. But it is not easy for Sugar to accept the goodness in her life all of a sudden, especially to say no to the sugary frosty taste of a chocolate cupcake.

This is an enlightening as well as a heart-breaking story which made me cry for most parts of the story. The writing is very simple, articulate and easy to comprehend with. Although I believe this story might not appeal to those perfect-looking-size-two-girls, but every human being has some flaw within them which when becomes loud, it makes you a subject of joke and this where this book comes through, to let you believe in yourself and gives you the power to take control over your life.

Hats Off to the author for concocting such a imperfect story into a perfect one, especially, for keeping it this real. The eloquent prose and the free-flowing and realistic narrative style makes the book yet more alluring to read. The author have addressed such a sensitive theme among young lives with lots of compassion and love thus making us feel the deep, raw emotions. The story is very real, and the author have captured the real world quite strikingly.

The characters are undoubtedly the most strongest and well-developed ones, who are sure to leave a mark upon our minds after reading this book. Not only the protagonist, the supporting cast too have drawn with enough realism. The main character, Sugar, is a sad, non-confident, weak yet big-hearted teenager who has no friends to confide her own feelings or who has no idea or experience what it feels like when a guy appreciates your beauty, but then Even, a nice handsome and kind teenager who sees past through the flab and fats of Sugar and gives her chance to be herself around him. Then there is her elder brother, Henry, who too plays a pivotal role in Sugar's dark days and stands and supports her like a pillar.

There is a lot of character-development for Sugar, the author have taken her main protagonist on a self-discovery journey where without any one's presence, Sugar learns to love herself and save herself from the pity. By the end, of the book, instead,of feeling sorry for Sugar, I was cheering for her. There is a lot of sweet, innocent chemistry between Even and Sugar although the author kept the relationship between Sugar and Even as only friends and their bond of friendship is very beautiful and powerful, nothing sexual or lusty.

Overall, I can say the from the very first page, with Sugar's teenagish narration, I got hooked on to the very core of the story and couldn't even pull myself out of the charm at the end of the book.

Verdict: This is a must read book for all those who feel they are uncool or anything less than their peers, be it a teenager or an adult! 

Courtesy: Many, many thanks to the author, Deirdre Riordan Hall, for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. 

Author Info:
Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the new adult contemporary novel, To the Sea.

Deirdre studied at George Washington University. She enjoys writing, reading, surfing, and yoga. One of the best things about those activities is they're all done barefoot. Although she loves shoes, she doesn't like to wear them.

Deirdre writes upper young adult and new adult fiction. She spends her days with her family, at the custom-made desk her husband crafted—writing (what else?) or seaside, pretending she's a mermaid.

Visit her here

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  1. It sounds like a heartwarming tale. I am tempted to get it.

    Nice review.

  2. This sounds such an amazing read! I'm adding it to my summer reading list :D

    Aeriko @ http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.com

  3. Talk about a game changer. I haven't read a book with the main character being overweight. Both the relationship between Sugar and Even and then the dynamic of Sugar's family intrigues me. I'll have to add this to my TBR list to look further into. Great review!

    Meredith @ A Book Lover's Corner

  4. Oh wow, this sounds like it is going to be a very deep book. and even more so if it managed to make you cry! I definitely need to pick this up at some point.


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