Review of SUGAR by Deirdre Riordan Hall

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book for review and I am so excited to share it with you today!

I loved this book like crazy. First of all, Sugar is fat. As in, actually fat. Not just whiny teenager who doesn’t really have problems and is actually quite beautiful fat, but really, truly, years-of-eating-junk fat. It was so refreshing to see a character, especially a teenage character, portrayed with such realism. Sugar didn’t get the way she is on accident and she was well aware of it.

Her mama is a bed-ridden, abusive narcissist and her big brother is a grade A asshole. 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.

My Rating : FIVE HUGE STARS.

SUGAR releases on 6/1/2015, but you can pre-order it here on Amazon.
Add SUGAR on Goodreads.