contemporary, young adult

Book Review: Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Sugar book cover

Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Publisher: Skyscape
Length: 276, Kindle
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 1 Folded page


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.


I’m sad to say I got about 50 pages into this novel before stopping. I can’t force myself to finish it. It’s nothing against the book, I just don’t think it’s for me. This book isn’t technically released until June 1st. I got it from Kindle First. In case you don’t know, if you have Amazon Prime one of the perks is getting a novel that hasn’t been released yet 1-3 months before it’s released. You get to choose from four different books for this. For the month of April (I think not sure) I chose Sugar.

The book is very gritty and accurate in its description of binge eating. I definitely appreciate that. The writing is also very well done. I like the voice of Mercy, known by her pet name Sugar to most, as well.

So what is the reason I couldn’t finish it? Honestly I’m not sure. I just don’t think the book was for me. I don’t enjoy the idea of Mercy being saved solely because a boy can see her for who she is and not her body. But I think the plot is very slow moving. While reading the first 50 pages, I felt like a lot of things were repetitive and there wasn’t a real plot that I could feel. Nothing makes me drop a book faster than a slow plot.

I think this book could be good for others, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

1 thought on “Book Review: Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall”

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