Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Title: Sugar
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: 3/5

Synposis: 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.

Review: I was immediately drawn to this book after reading the brief blurb, browsing through NetGalley. I'm a Polish chick and I did experience a bit of bullying in my day, regarding my weight. This book called to me and as soon as I was approved, I dug in.

For starters, I have to say that this book reminded me a lot of "Push" by Sapphire. Sugar's problems were not at all as intense and crazy as those that Precious experienced, but both books left me with a severe level of frustration. I wanted to reach through the pages and slap people, and scream "Wake the eff up!!"

In "Sugar," our title character is a bullied loner, whose home life is just as terrible as her life at school. Insults regarding her weight plague her, and she uses food - especially sweets - as a crutch. This all changes when she meets Even, a friendly and cute guy who befriends Sugar. When hanging out with Even, Sugar feels weightless and her feelings for Even continue to grow into a more romantic nature. Even is just perfect - kind, handsome, a bit tortured, and he rides a Harley - to boot.

My frustrations reading this book were related to almost every single plot point. I was so frustrated reading how Sugar was a doormat for every single person in her life. She gets physically and mentally abused and yet never defends herself or gets angry...she just takes it. Then most frustrating of all, tragedy strikes and forces Sugar's character to undergo rapid growth. Her redemption doesn't seem nearly as redeeming as I would have liked based on all the stuff she had to deal with. But who knows, maybe I'm reading this as a grumpy adult who has learned NOT to tolerate people's crap anymore.

Overall, I think this book would be great for teens who have been bullied due to their weight, but for me - Sugar was just too much of a doormat for it to be believable.

Goodreads | Amazon

3/5 teapots!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: The Wedding Vow by Cara Connelly

Title: The Wedding Vow
Series: Save the Date #2
Author: Cara Connelly
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3/5


Cara Connelly's second Save the Date novel proves that opposites do attract...

The Playboy
Sexy billionaire Adam LeCroix has a mission: hunt down the sultry spitfire he blames for his troubles, demand her help, and exact revenge while he's at it. Maddie St. Clair will help him...or else. 

The Prosecutor
Former prosecutor Maddie damn near nailed Adam for stealing, but the lucky bastard walked. Now, five years later, he's back, arrogant as ever, giving her an ultimatum—work for him to collect the insurance money, or she'll never work again.

The Problem
Maddie's all about right and wrong. Adam's shades of gray. So when he uncovers the hot body under her hard-ass veneer and she finds he's a thief with a heart, can the law-and-order lawyer and the fast-and-loose felon put their prickly past behind them?
Would you believe me if I said that I never read a modern romance novel? Yes. It's true. Give me highlanders or damsels in distress and I'm usually good but, seriously, "The Wedding Vow" completely changed that!

 The story centers on the relationship between Maddie, hard-ass attorney, and Adam, gajillionaire playboy. It just so happens that a few years back, Maddie was prosecuting Adam for a fine art theft that she was 100% convinced he committed. Although she lost the case, she gained an unwavering grudge against Adam. When he shows back up in her life and hires her as his new counsel - a monetary offer Maddie cannot turn down - their volatile relationship quickly turns into desire.

As Adam's business quickly takes him and Maddie to Italy, more is revealed about them both - secrets I was definitely surprised by - and its all set against the gorgeous backdrop of Portofino, Bugattis, Ducatis, and star-studded events. Definitely adult fairy tale status!

One of my only dislikes about the book was that it took Maddie a long time to grow on me due to her stubbornness and unyielding nature. While her reluctance to let Adam in makes sense, at the end everything was kind of rushed for me and I didn't get the full satisfaction of truly, really believing in her growth. Due to this I wavered between a 3 and 4-star rating, eventually settling on a 4 because while I may not have really cared for Maddie, Adam was the perfect drool-worthy guy. I also loved how this book was written - modern, youthful, and real. I always love it when a book's characters talk like real people!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was hot, fun, and engaging. Though I haven't read the first book in the series, I am absolutely going to be picking it up, along with the next installment. Cara's writing is just THAT great!

Goodreads  |  Amazon

3/5 teapots