Goodreads Book Blurb: 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…
Fleeing a life of bad luck and big mistakes, Della Lee has decided Josey’s clandestine closet is the safest place to crash. In return she’s going to change Josey’s life—because, clearly, it is not the closet of a happy woman. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey is soon forgoing pecan rolls and caramels, tapping into her startlingly keen feminine instincts, and finding her narrow existence quickly expanding.
Before long, Josey bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who makes the best sandwiches in town, is hounded by books that inexplicably appear whenever she needs them, and—most amazing of all—has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush.
As little by little Josey dares to step outside herself, she discovers a world where the color red has astonishing power, passion can make eggs fry in their cartons, and romance can blossom at any time—even for her. It seems that Della Lee’s work is done, and it’s time for her to move on. But the truth about where she’s going, why she showed up in the first place—and what Chloe has to do with it all—is about to add one more unexpected chapter to Josey’ s fast-changing life.
Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.
My Opinion: This is the first of Sarah Addison Allen’s novels that I have read. I will definitely be checking out more, because I really adored this story!
The Sugar Queen was not at all what I expected. I was thinking something more along the lines of Chocolat, but even with it not being what I thought, I was hooked very early on. It is a light and fluffy read about friendship, stepping outside your comfort zone, and a dash of love.
Story-wise, there were a few things I didn’t understand or relate to very well. One was Josey’s shame at her sugar stash, and therefore her inability to just tell Della Lee to leave. It would have been a very different book, of course, but it was a minor thing I didn’t understand. The other was Josey’s shame at how she behaved when she was younger. Maybe this is because I have no concept of “southern Belle”.
Writing-wise, Sarah Addison Allen doesn’t do anything complex or overly magical. The prose is basic, though readable. The plot was fairly light and fluffy. There are a few twists, most of which I saw coming fairly far away.
The characters in The Sugar Queen are really fun, though at times I found them to be a little flat. I especially loved Chloe and the books that follow her around. In the end, I really felt like Josey did grow and change over the course of the story, which is not something you see often enough these days.
Bottom Line: A sweet, light, and fluffy read that delivers a few twists and some really likeable characters.