Monday, August 30, 2010

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

I guess I'm stuck in a magical realism phase, because this book isn't my usual fare either, just like The Last Will of Moira Leahy. It's set in a realistic place but with some not so realistic elements thrown in. Excerpt from the book flap:
Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother...
There's a girl in this book who is "followed" by books that appear just when she needs them, whether she realizes it or not. What a problem to have. Another character cannot go back on a promise, regardless of how much he may want to.

Each chapter is titled after a favorite sweet, the first being Everlasting Gobstoppers, and the last appropriately titled Now and Later, which I thought was absolutely charming. It also made me hungry.

This book is an easy read. I finished it in an afternoon, and it took me about 4 hours. I have mentioned over and over again that I have trouble getting into books. The opening sequence often gives me trouble, and sometimes I even put a book back on the TBR pile. However, with this book, Allen jumps right into Della Lee showing up in Josey's closet.

Overall, it was very enjoyable. I picked up this book because it was recommended to me due to my interest in The Thirteenth Tale, along with one of Allen's other books, Garden Spells. They were in an online bargain bin for 5 dollars, so I figured what could I lose? Plus, the author is from Asheville, NC. It seems like I never see a southern author writing fantasy, so I was interested to see how she combined fairy tale with the southern setting. Suffice it to say one of my next book will be Garden Spells.

Bottom Line
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 
Buy or Try? Buy
More? Stand-alone
Plot: 4 / 5
Setting: 4 / 5 (I would have preferred more setting description, just because I adore the NC mountains)
Characters: 4 / 5
Pace: Middlin' to Fast
Descriptiveness: Prose
Fantasy factor: Magical Realism link


BookGirlR said...

Thanks for checking out my blog! I am loving this book. I read Garden Spell when it first came out and loved it! I wish that I could have Chloe's "problem" of being followed by books... I have to buy all of mine.

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