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The Sugar Queen (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – April 14, 2009


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The Sugar Queen (Random House Reader's Circle) + The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel + Garden Spells (Bantam Discovery)
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Product Details

  • Series: Random House Reader's Circle
  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553384848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553384840
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ariadne Meyers's warm and whimsical performance invigorates a colorful cast of characters. Since most of them come from the same small North Carolina town, nearly all carry Southern accents, yet Meyers makes each voice uniqueand believable: the elderly yet forceful and intimidating tone of imperious Margaret; the initially soft, timid voice of Josey, which grows stronger and more confident as the book goes on; the sassy, brassy twang of feisty Della Lee; the lazy, sexy drawl of charming-but-dangerous Julian. The abridgement is seamless. Meyers' rich, nuanced performance adds an extra dimension and will keep listeners captivated from beginning to end. A Bantam hardcover (Reviews, May 5). (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Like the most decadently addictive bonbons, once started, Allen’s magically entrancing novel is impossible to put down."—Booklist, starred review

“Bewitching…. Such a pleasurable book.”—Publishers Weekly


From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times Bestselling author of Garden Spells (2007) The Sugar Queen (2008) The Girl Who Chased the Moon (2010) The Peach Keeper (2011) and Lost Lake (2014). Her new novel FIRST FROST will be published in January 2015. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Couldn't put it down and was good to read a book with the ending finished off well.
Mrs M Ball
Maybe I am too old to read books like this, I like the theme of the story, I just wish there was more meat to chew on.
irk
I love the way Sarah weaves everyday magic into the real lives and complex, modern story lines of her characters.
Valerie J Werner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Bundtlust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Much like her charming debut novel Garden Spells (Bantam Discovery), Sarah Addison Allen's Sugar Queen is a blend of food and magic. Josey Cirrini is fast approaching thirty. She's a plump, painfully shy recluse who hides in her closet stuffing herself with junk food and reading romance novels to find solace from her overbearing mother (the two live together). While her mother Margaret was a classic Southern belle, Josey is mousy and timid, with no friends, no love life, and no dreams. She's expected to stay and care for her mother.

But Josey's dull, predictable life is turned upside-down when bad girl Della Lee mysteriously appears in her closet, smack-dab in the middle of her stash of moonpies, pecan rolls, and Little Debbie snacks. Della Lee is Josey's opposite: she lives fast and hard, has been arrested for solicitation, and seems to be on the run from someone. The only problem is that she refuses to leave the closet.

Desperate to be rid of her, Josey agrees to do several favors for Della Lee, which starts her on a journey of self-discovery regarding her family's past. Della Lee becomes a sort of fairy godmother responsible for giving Josey a newfound sense of confidence, and encouraging her to pursue her infatuation with hunky, injured mailman Adam, who's hiding out from his own secret.

Allen cleverly themes each chapter title around Josey's love of sweets, with the candy names reflecting various plot points: SweeTarts, Sno Caps, Sugar Daddy, Mellowcreme Pumpkins, Candy Hearts, and Mr. Goodbar all make guest appearances. Her talent lies in the clever interplay of characters and fate, with a strong Southern sensibility.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Scave31 on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I adored Garden Spells by this author and admit to fearing she wouldn't be able to replicate in The Sugar Queen that same quality of writing that makes me feel as if I'm floating through the story. But she definitely did! I have a hard time defining how Allen's writing differs from other authors. Her characters are so well drawn you fall for them instantly and root for them, even with their flaws. The smattering of magic she includes just works for her, where it might seem contrived if used by another author. I think each of her characters has a bit of magic inside them, whether they know it or not.

I found the book to be surprising in some places, including the ending, which I had only partly predicted, and the part I didn't predict left me in tears. A wonderful, highly-recommended book! I truly wish the author could write faster, as it was over far too soon.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Rhoad on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If this author continues writing in this shimmery other world way I could become her most avid fan. I thought Garden Spells was wonderful and if you suspend your staid, logical way of thinking and just flow with the story of this book you will hate for it to end. This was excellent reading and not nearly long enough. I will buy all of the author's books as long as she continues in this mystical way.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Schmidt on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I found it very difficult to get through this book. The text was sophmoric, and the plot was too pat and predictable. I added a point to my original two point review because the ending did redeem the story somewhat. Somehow I was so aggrivated with the inane thought processes that resulted in such poor communication between the various love interests that I didn't see it coming. Definitely a young chick book.

I think I'll give this book to my 17 year old granddaughter. She'll like it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book, which I read within 24 hours, was light and delightful, with a twist that surprised me. Again, the author uses (but not too much) magical realism. It is so subtle that the reader believes. As a book-lover, I especially loved how books just "appear" in this story.

In another author's hands, this book could have been overwritten. I like Allen's concise way of writing, her character development, and the sprinkling of magic. I liked this even more than "Garden Spells".

A good story!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Korkishko on June 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Compared to "Garden Spells" and "The Girl Who Chased the Moon" by the same author, this story is the weakest and most predictable. It was hard to make the jump to even partial believability. While "Garden Spells" is the most enchanting and unforgetable as a fairy tale-type story, the Sugar Queen was not as memorable or magical.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By *stellina* on March 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am really surprised at how much I didnt like this book. I loved the magical elements and storylines of Garden Spells and the Girl who Chased the Moon, but this book just didnt come together for me. I thought the storyline was pretty thin and flimsy. The small things that happen are dragged out for chapters. I thought the author did a great job with the characterization of Margaret (Josie's mom), Chloe and Della Lee. Josie was boring. She is depicted as a sheltered, overweight small town girl who has always done as her mother wished, trying to win her approval. She has a closet full of hidden candy and sweets - but so what? I'm not sure what exactly the point of this candy stash was, or why it became the title of the book. So she ate sugar when she bored, sad or angry, what was that relevant too? If there was suppossed to be an element of magical realism here, I totally missed it.

I did really like Chloe's story line, and the magic of the appearing books. The surprise twist at the end though was the first thing that really grabbed my attention, and by the time, there were only a few pages left.

I think Sarah Addison Allen is an excellent author. Garden Spells and the Girl who Chased the Moon are both excellent examples of her gift of magical storytelling. I would recommend skipping this book.
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