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The Sugar Queen

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  41,398 Ratings  ·  4,842 Reviews
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 rom ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Random House Publishing Group
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Ericka I actually liked this book better than her others. Don't get me wrong, I love all her books, but I liked that it was darker and dealt with a more…moreI actually liked this book better than her others. Don't get me wrong, I love all her books, but I liked that it was darker and dealt with a more heavy theme. I hope that she might write another book in this fashion. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 22, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
The Sugar Queen is a book clearly written for a particular type of woman. And that woman is not me. I'm not immune to the charms of chick lit, but I do require it to be witty, have quirky characters, present a plausible and realistic relationship (notice I did not say a "romance") that is not the axis upon which the main character's world turns, and a strong female lead. After reading Garden Spells by the same author last year, I knew that Sarah Addison Allen did not meet this criteria. Alas, I ...more
Darth J
Apr 19, 2016 Darth J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
3.75 stars

I loved Garden Spells , so I decided to give another of Sarah Addison Allen’s books a go. There’s the same lush storytelling with hints of magic that are just subtle enough to be believable. The Sugar Queen touches on many fairy tale elements while staying grounded in reality. (Please note: this is not a fairy tale retelling, it just has some faint yet recognizable allusions.)

(view spoiler)
My lovely book-gifting mother gave me a nice, healthy stack of books for Christmas and among them was THE SUGAR QUEEN. I read and loved Sarah Addison Allen's first novel, Garden Spells, last year on the recommendation of my good friend Michelle. Incidentally, I actually gave my mom Garden Spells for Christmas so there was some fun karmic reciprocity goin' on there. Garden Spells was the perfect autumn read and I finished it itching to get my hands on Allen's second book, which, as it turns out, ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Nikoleta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realist
Η ρομαντική πένα της Σαρα Αντισον Αλλεν έκανε κ πάλι τα μαγικά της. Αυτή την φορά δημιούργησε μια ιστορία πιο ώριμη από αυτή του Μαγικού κήπου. Ένα κόσμο πιο ωμό και σκληρό, μητέρες εκδικητικές, άντρες που κερατώνουν, θλίψη, μελαγχολία, πορνεία και hangover μετά από μεθύσι. Που όμως περιπλέκονται πολύ αρμόνικα με την γλυκιά αδυναμία της Αλλεν, την αφελή ελπίδα ενός μικρού παιδιού πως εκεί στα καθημερινά και απλά πράγματα κρύβεται μαγεία, το θαύμα. Αλαφροΐσκιωτες υπηρέτριες, κυνηγούν φαντάσματα σ ...more
While this is a good read, its storyline is too pat, its conclusion to easy, and its writing too forgettable to earn more than three stars. Would I read it again? Probably not. Would I want to reread parts of it years from now? Possibly. Would I read a sequel? Quite probably. You can draw your own conclusions from that :-)

Our heroine struggles with self-perception and a lack of self-esteem. Josey is supposed to be a Southern in a ski resort town in the mountains of North Carolina.
Wow! Another magical novel by Sarah Addison Allen. Beautifully written. Much like her debut novel Garden Spells, this book contains a blend of interesting food and magic realism.

Josey Cirrini is a chubby, shy recluse who lives with her overbearing mother. She consoles herself with junk food and romance novels that she keeps hidden in her closet. One day her boring life is turned upside down when she discovers local bad girl, Della Lee, hiding in her closet. Desperate to be rid of Della Lee, Jos
Apr 28, 2015 ♛Tash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sugar-and-fluff

Have you ever finished a whole plate of chocolate cake while binge watching Revenge to fill the emptiness of your nights?
If you have, then this book is for you.

Have you ever broken down because you didn't know how to function alone anymore?
If you have, then this book is for you.

Have you ever squatted in a stranger's closet?
If you have, then this book is for you.

This is not my usual fare, but I was in the mood for something light, fluffy and sweet, like Meringue. I didn't get the Meringue, but
Oct 11, 2009 Kei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves sweet tales with hints of romance and magic.
Recommended to Kei by: No One
Shelves: favorites
I love this story! It's a very strong character-driven tale with all of the ingredients I personally enjoy in a book, a little magic, a little fantasy, romance, conflict, and dream fulfillment. The author chose a very simplistic style of writing and spent very little page space describing the weather, the people's description, and atmosphere which doesn't bother me one bit, since she mastered the storytelling element. She DID describe the main characters enough for you to get a good picture of e ...more
Sep 06, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
This treacly romance was lauded by reviewers, but I found it as difficult to swallow as a spoonful of raw sugar. Two young sheltered women in their twenties struggle with their pasts and their current romantic relationships in a small North Carolina resort town. Nothing unusual there, except the author adds elements of magical realism that are not quite successful. For example, there is a strange woman living in the closet of one of the women who may or may not be real. When her presence is hurr ...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I will get a red cardigan - and think of Josey's.
I enjoyed this even more than Garden Spells! I liked the chapter titles! And the way books inexplicably appear when Chloe needs them (or when the book thinks Chloe needs it). The relationship between Josey, Della Lee & Chloe develops. And the big laugh I got from the Cirrini's new maid near the end!
I recommend it!
I am so excited I must get her latest book!!!
Beth F.
I think this author is best read when you’re lying low, feeling tired, sick or just plain soul-weary. This is the second novel of hers I’ve read and just like Garden Spells it was a classically perfect definition of an escape. And even though it is Sunday night, a notoriously depressing night of the week for me on account of tomorrow being Monday when I find I must return to a soul-stealing corporate job, I’m relaxed and riding high on the fuzzy afterglow of having just had my saccharine sweet g ...more
Tamora Pierce
Feb 20, 2012 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books come to Chloe when she needs them to tell her things; Della shows up in Josey's closet (which holds the stash of sweets, romances, and travel inforama that Josey hides from her domineering mother) to tell Josey to get a life, and Josey? Josey nurses a secret love for the mailman. It's Della who brings the three of them together as Chloe's long romance is collapsing and Della's trying to decide what to do about the boyfriend who hit her.

Allen's books about nice Southern girls, magic, food,
I think this is now my favorite Allen book.
Part of the reason I liked this so well is because it was exactly what I needed right now...essentially, I inadvertently pulled a Chloe in that this book showed up on my holds list and I checked it out and listened to it and it helped soothe my troubled soul. Well, if I had a soul. It helped calm the oozing, black miasma that takes the place of my soul, is probably a more-accurate statement.

This is a story about oppressed women, people who are kept in l
Aug 29, 2015 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, can someone please tell me where to find the radioactive spider that will give me the superpower of having books randomly appear when I need them? I would love to be bitten IMMEDIATELY.

Now, if any of you follow what I have been reading lately, you might question my choices and opinions of books, especially considering that I jumped from reading a whimsical, southern love story to gobbling down the memoir of a teenage meth addict. My reading psychosis is bipolarity: I need the light and d
You know how when you are not feeling well you are told to each chicken soup? Well, this is my chicken soup. I love reading books by Sarah Addison Allen, they are comforting, and in an odd way, familiar. Yes, its not as good as Garden Spells, but this one is different. Allen's books have magical realism, southern traditions, quirky characters....what's not to love. This book tells the story of lonely, isolated Josey and the other people who come into her life from town, and how she changes over ...more
Let’s see…a story about a young single woman who hoards sweets and trashy romance novels in a cache hidden in her closet. Hmm...I’m on board! I’ll take chocolate and passion on the page over my problems any time. And so we have Josey Cirrini, the twenty-seven-year-old heroine of The Sugar Queen. She’s an almost over-the-hill Southern belle without a life or a date, no privacy from a domineering mother, and now has the town harlot camping out and black-mailing her in her bedroom closet. What’s a ...more
Nov 27, 2008 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd really like to give this book three-and-a-half stars if possible! I did enjoy it but took a while to get into it - I wasn't too keen on the beginning, but became hooked about halfway through.

There are a lot of similarities with her other book, 'Garden Spells' - again it is a story with elements of magic realism, where the magic seems benevolent and determined to help people, but this time there are also some darker moments and it isn't pure escapism. I discovered this author because Laura r
Sep 19, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I loved this book!

The Sugar Queen

Five stars! This is a delicious book! A tantalizing, sweet story that you will want to savor.

Reading this book is like assembling a large jigsaw puzzle that represents four sides of love. The corners of the puzzle symbolize the four women of the story. There is Josey, a twenty seven year old women, who is living under her mother's thumb. She is still punishing herself over bad behavior committed as a young child. To atone for her supposed transgressions she h
Jun 26, 2008 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book at the library when a friend informed me it had been released. I didn't read anything about the story beforehand...I just knew it was a new book by the author of _Garden Spells_. I'm glad now that I didn't read any information or reviews, because it made the whole story all the more fresh.

Allen seems to be developing a theme between her novels in regard to characterizing a non-human object and giving it a magical and charming life and influence on the other characters. In
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Το κέντησε πάλι το "παραμύθι" της η λατρεμένη Sarah !!!!
Venus Blancia
Jun 20, 2015 Venus Blancia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Venus by: Tash
Thank you Sarah Addison Allen. Thank you. This is not just paper, glue, and string but hope, love and life.

I know any fictional book would disclaim saying any particular resemblance of the situations, characters, and settings are purely coincidental. I wonder why my digital copy of this has no mention of any. I know the reason. The story is real. How can an author write so real about a person living half way of the world?

and here it goes...

When Josey woke up and saw the feather frost on her win
The Sugar Queen is a standalone novel written by author Sarah Addison Allen. The Sugar Queen is a mix of chick lit, fantasy, and contemporary romance, with some more serious elements related to family dynamics and self-esteem. It didn't "wow" me, but overall I liked it and it held my interest well. I thought it was funny how a lot of the main character, Josey's experiences were described like some kind of sugary sweet. “Like magic, she felt him getting nearer, felt it like a pull in the pit of h ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Yet another book I can add that has or involves books with food thrown in the mix, in its story and one I always wanted to read. I heard of the author's other books. Garden Spells to be exact.

This, just, I was going to give this a 4 but no, I love this book. Throughout, I wanted to give Josey and Chloe a hug. I could kind of relate to Josey in a way. But I loved that she slowly moves forward, with help along the way. Oh and Adam. You get hug points for being adorable.

Anyway, I was drawn to the s
Feb 03, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
OH. This is really well done, compelling writing. There's great incorporation of magical realism and a fabulous setting. There are flaws, too, but the writing drew me along anyway. Flaws include Chloe being nervous to tell Jake about the books when he knew about the eggs frying and coffee boiling and obviously dealt with those just fine. There's also the fact that (view spoiler) and I hate those storylines. And there ...more
Jun 09, 2009 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I feel sorry for myself that I wasted three hours of my life reading this book. It was neither fun chick lit, nor was it quality magical realism, nor can I even put it in the same genre as a trashy romance novel. The metaphors were awful, the writing was terrible, and the plot was pointless. That being said, I did finish it, but I think that's more a testament to my desire to always find out what happens than to any talent on the part of the writer.
Nov 14, 2015 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was a cute, quick read with some memorable characters.

Originally posted here.

Last year, I enjoyed reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I found that it was fun, fluffy, and light, I couldn't not enjoy it. After closing my copy, I knew I would be reading more Sarah Addison Allen.


The Sugar Queen is, in many ways, similar to Garden Spells – the magical realism, the love story/romance angle, the familiar characters to whom it’s so easy to relate. But The Sugar Queen is a delightful and charming story on its own.


The only comfort in twent
Dec 21, 2011 Alexandria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I read this book when it came out in 2009. I remember picking it up and immediately relating to the protagonist, Josey Cirrini. Josey, a 28 year old woman lives alone with her cold, wealthy mother. She is guilty of her horrendous behavior as a child, so as repentance she stays to care for her overbearing mama. Over the years she becomes Dickensian, very reclusive, pining over gorgeous mailmen, gorging herself on her secret candy treasure to make herself feel better. The story gets interesting ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This one wasn't as magical and playful as Garden Spells, but I still enjoyed it. I'm not into romances, but Sarah Addison Allen throws in some magical and humorous elements, and she doesn't get too mushy or graphic with the romance stuff. The pieces of the puzzle fit together a little too neatly in this story. It could have used a little more complexity.

I especially liked the way books intervene in Chloe's life in a magical way. They won't leave her alone! And she never has to pay for them. The
Sep 19, 2016 Miranda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own
From page one I absolutely loved our main character, Josey. She was instantly so relatable. This book has really pulled me in and made reading fun. I adore how each chapter title is a name of a candy.

I feel that I have much in common with Josey. Although in the sense that I allow people to control me, it is minimal. The way she allows her mother to just dictate her life for no real reason, was rather eye opening. This book has many life lessons in it and I believe it is an important read.

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New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction -- a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journa
More about Sarah Addison Allen...

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“Books can be possessive, can't they? You're walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what's inside will change your life, but sometimes you don't even have to read it. Sometimes it's a comfort just to have a book around. Many of these books haven't even had their spines cracked. 'Why do you buy books you don't even read?' our daughter asks us. That's like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course.” 800 likes
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