- Paperback: 266 pages
- Publisher: Skyscape (June 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1477829385
- ISBN-13: 978-1477829387
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,174 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sugar Paperback – June 1, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Mercy Bella "Sugar" Legowski-Gracia is fat. Food is her comfort and her haven, especially sweets. Of course, she has a lot to seek refuge from, since her mother hurt her ankle the previous spring and took to her bed. Since then, Sugar has done everything around the house. She's looking forward to school starting to get away from Mama's relentless demands, except then she'll have to put up with the bullying from her classmates. The first five chapters of this novel are dark and depressing. Then Sugar meets Even, and things begin to change. Even seems to like Sugar the way she is, and her life begins to brighten, but she still has to live with Mama, who doesn't seem to value Sugar's happiness. Riordan Hall has created a believable protagonist, and the novel deals well with the themes of differences and bullying. There are some instances of verbal and physical abuse, which may be problematic for sensitive teens. VERDICT A unique perspective on familial abuse/bullying.—Marlyn Beebe, Long Beach Public Library, Los Alamitos, CA
“Sugar is about a teenage girl who seeks solace in the sugary, greasy foods she both craves and despises...Yet Sugar summons the strength to find her own inner beauty, and it’s not a Size 0. Her triumph is heartbreaking and triumphant.” —Denver Post Pages
“Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall is one of those books that sneaks up and hits you in the gut with its powerful truth. Sugar is not easy to read. Between the nearly pornographic description of food and the cruel slanders of those who are supposed to love her, this novel will take you down the dark path Sugar is walking. But as she sees a light at the end of the tunnel, you will be reminded of hope and the importance of loving yourself first and foremost.” —Hypable
“Sugar’s character has depth, and her unhappiness and determination to conquer it are realistically portrayed. Readers will sympathize with Sugar and understand her struggle to reach her full potential.” —Publishers Weekly
"Gr 10 Up—Mercy Bella 'Sugar' Legowski-Gracia is fat. Food is her comfort and her haven, especially sweets. Of course, she has a lot to seek refuge from, since her mother hurt her ankle the previous spring and took to her bed. Since then, Sugar has done everything around the house. She's looking forward to school starting to get away from Mama's relentless demands, except then she'll have to put up with the bullying from her classmates. The first five chapters of this novel are dark and depressing. Then Sugar meets Even, and things begin to change. Even seems to like Sugar the way she is, and her life begins to brighten, but she still has to live with Mama, who doesn't seem to value Sugar's happiness. Riordan Hall has created a believable protagonist, and the novel deals well with the themes of differences and bullying. There are some instances of verbal and physical abuse, which may be problematic for sensitive teens. VERDICT: A unique perspective on familial abuse/bullying." —Marlyn Beebe, Long Beach Public Library, Los Alamitos, California
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Top customer reviews
Her mama is a bed-ridden, abusive narcissist and her big brother is a grade A jerk. Kids at school are bullies, much like they are in real life. To cope with being in poverty and being surrounded by people who only want to bring her down, Sugar has turned to food all of her life. (Sadly, this is all so real in everyday people that it hurts.)
Insert: Super Cute Boy with some family issues himself.
The romance between Sugar and Even was so well done, I felt like I was in the middle of it as some mystical third party falling in love with both of them at once. Even saw Sugar as the person she was under all of the fat, under the shield she concocted to protect herself from the world. He complimented her smile, he held her hand at the right moments. He let her be herself. He brought her out of her shell and, although the story is told from Sugar’s perspective, I feel like Sugar brought him out of his shell as well.
Together, she was able to find a meaning in her life, a goal to strive for. No, she didn’t suddenly get skinny and become hot and have everyone in love with her. NO, she didn’t turn into some sappy girl who couldn’t live without her precious Even. She stayed true to herself and he was merely a stepping stone in her transformation. I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH how amazing and refreshing it was to read a story with this kind of romance.
I also will not comment on the part that kept me up all night in tears. You’ll get to it when you read it, and you’ll feel the same way. Trust me, this book has ALL THE FEELS in the best way possible.
There are a ton of swoon-worthy passages in this book, but my favorite one, the one that hit me like a pile of bricks and made me grateful for my life was this one:
“I'm brightly aware that this is what normal sounds like.” -pg 75
What I loved about SUGAR was how real it all felt. It reminded me of people I know who deal with the same struggles in much the same way. It gave me hope that relationships can form in ways that help transform you into the person you should be, not the person you want to be to impress some cute guy for no good reason.
This book gives hope as much as it is entertaining. It was beautifully written, which makes it hard to put down. If you liked Eleanor & Park, you’re going to love Sugar.
I like the message of loving yourself and becoming comfortable and confident in your skin. It's a strong message to young adults and really anyone. It carries a really good message of change, acceptance, forgiving, faith, all these things make it good enough for 3 stars. Had it not carried these things, it'd probably be a 1 star for me.
For example, Hall builds up this story of how even basically changed Sugar’s life and how because of him she’s able to see herself differently. When he died, I felt cheated out of Sugar’s grieving. Maybe it’s the basic writing, so he dies and Sugar’s thoughts are, “I am beyond sad over Even. I am beyond angry at Skunk.” I feel nothing. Write about how agonizing the pain is to have lost the only person who saw life blah blah blah, imagery! Give me something. And then there’s like no real story about the dad or how she really feels about him (or lack of knowing him), and out of nowhere his brother appears and says the dad loves them and has tried to be in contact and she has no other questions? She has no feelings about what she just learned from her out of nowhere apparent uncle? Who has apparently been watching over them from afar the whole time? So overall, good plot, characters and grammar. Not good enough character development, imagery in regards to emotions mainly, or realistic-ness. There was potential for much more.
Sugar did not have an easy life. She never knew her daddy, her mother stuffed her with food and told her she was ugly and fat. She was ostracized at school because she was fat. Her mother continued to overeat and was finally confined to her bed. Sugar was expected to take care of all her mother's needs. As her mother became more dependent on Sugar she also became more abusive.
This is not a feel good book but I felt compelled to continue reading. I wondered how Ms Hall was able to get a story about addiction so right. She has either lived it or has amazing research capabilities. I decided it didn't really matter. What matters is her ability to tell a story so convincingly I forgot this is a book of fiction. The book is not all gloom and doom. There is love and healing in this story. It is a book that is well worth your time and money. That's why I gave it 5 stars.