Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sometimes abridged is better

Title: The Sugar Queen
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Genre: Romance/Coming-of-Age
Date Started: August 15, 2009
Date Finished: August 15, 2009

Rating: B

Description (from Barnes & Noble): 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 hasastonishing 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Wow! The description is going to be longer than my review. I first read The Sugar Queen in one of those 4-books-in-1 compilations that Reader's Digest publishes. The summary intrigued me, so I read it and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a good story that covered both light-hearted and serious topics with ease. I loved the little touch of magic that Allen threw in the story too (oh how I wish I had the same "affliction" as Chloe). Because I liked the shortened version so much, I figured the full-length version would be even better.

I was wrong. Because I was expecting so much more, I ended up being disappointed. The only stuff the Reader's Digest editors cut out was the smut and questionable content. Everything else was pretty much the same. It's so frustrating that the author feels the need to include those scenes and descriptions. I really enjoyed the abridged version; if this had been a review of the shortened story, it would have received an A. Unfortunately, it's not. B

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