Review: The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Now, if there’s anything you need to know about me, it’s this: I have a sweet tooth that is second to none, and I am in love with love. So, when I read the back panel of Sarah Addison Allen’s The Sugar Queen, I was in. Hook, line, and sinker. 

It also didn’t hurt that one of my favorite people in the world gifted me this book.

The Sugar Queen is about a twenty-seven-year-old woman named Josey who lives with her (admittedly pretty awful) mother in North Carolina. Her entire life has been spent catering to her mother’s needs, and she has very little of her own. Except, of course, a stack of romance novels and a hidden treasure trove of sweet treats. The same treasure trove that is discovered by Della Lee—a morally ambiguous eccentric—who has since taken up residence in said closet. Her life grows increasingly stranger as she strikes up a friendship with Chloe, who has an odd relationship with books. Theirs is a story of friendship, magic, mystery, and love. 

This was my first read by Sarah Addison Allen, and I have to admit, I fell in love immediately. Her atmospheric romance made me wistful for the American south—a place I’ve only visited a handful of times. It drew me in, making me feel like I was a native, fully ensnared by the charms (and pitfalls) of southern small towns. 

I found her writing to be incredibly engaging and beautifully structured. The story carried hints of magical realism and all the markers of a wholesome romance. There was a certain measure of predictability to the story. Though, I don’t suspect the intention of The Sugar Queen was to keep us gripping the edges of our seats as we got caught up in a “whodunnit” tale. This story is for those looking for warm fuzzies and unconventional tales of falling in (and back in) love.

I will definitely be picking up more from Sarah Addison Allen!

You can find Sarah Addison Allen: Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website.

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