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Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar

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286 pages, Paperback

Published December 24, 2020

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About the author

D.D. Kaye

2 books3 followers
Hello - thank you for visiting my Author page! I'm an emerging author wanting to organically connect with readers and writers. There are challenges that go along with being an independent, self-published, self-marketing author. The competition is fierce against big names and established authors, so Facebook and Twitter follows would be much appreciated to boost me in the ranks of the social media algorithms!

What began as a ghost writing hobby catapulted into a professional writing career. My broad understanding of spiritual and cultural variations, and some unusual life experiences have formed a unique insight to human nature and the many belief systems that form our world. When I'm not writing or doing artwork, I'm taking Zumba classes to burn off my unapologetic love for chocolate. I'm active in volunteer work, and a native of Seattle, Washington where I raised my children.

My number one goal is TRAVEL! To date I've experienced the warm people of Istanbul Turkey, a city embracing both ancient and contemporary architecture and culture. I visited at a time when ISIS was at the Syrian border, forcing refugees into Turkey. I will never forget their faces remorse with tragedy and despair, and the Syrian man holding a bathroom scale offering to weigh people for a few coins.

I was also privileged to travel to Seoul, South Korea bursting with color during the cherry blossom season. Seoul is known as the city that never sleeps, where high fashion is taken seriously, though sometimes while wearing Mickey Mouse ears! Spicy vendor food cooked in little tents on every street, fermented kimchi, curious people with a quirky sense of humor - a bustling place I hold dear to my heart.

Hong Kong was the biggest surprise, with its tropical climate, diversity and freedom that you don't find in the strict communist parts of China - a beautiful fusion of East and West, and the most gracious, hospitable people living amidst breathtaking greenery, views of the deep blue sea, spectacular city lights at night, and my favorite - a cable car ride through the lush green mountainside to the Ngong Ping Buddhist village on Lantau Island.

One day I will write about these experiences in detail - with an added intriguing plot of course, so please check back often for new books!

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Vibha.
191 reviews20 followers
April 24, 2021
Obtained a free copy in exchange for an honest review by Booktasters on Twitter
Ugly girl Sweet nectar by D.D.Kaye speaks about the inner demons that make us what we are today. It is the story of Alessa and her insecurities that she starts to acknowledge and grow by the end of the novel. Kaye has narrated the story from two different perspectives of the same person. Young Alessa through her journal entries and the now grown-up Alessa.
The journal entries introduce us to her family, a mother who abandoned her and a father whose priorities were never his children. And as an addition to that, the stepmother was bossy and controlled her dad like a pawn.
Kaye has done a great job in showing us how the childhood trauma affected Alessa in her relationships. She is insecure about almost everything. She tries her best to be a good mom to her 3 children from three different fathers.
She believes that the universe is always against her. She blames her mother for her alcohol issues, Father for his meek self, and herself for loving too much that she could never find the courage to let it go. She meets new people and each one gives her a new perspective.
We readers will watch Alessa as she starts to acknowledge her fears, insecurities, and most importantly her kindness and try to become a better person for the sake of her children.
The cover says that it is based on a true story and a disclaimer declares that it is not a memoir, But in the end, it does not matter at all as we readers will be fully immersed in the sorrow, the intimacy it gives out.
A great novel with a lot of life lessons. A must-read I could say. Also, there is an Indian character named Prakeet which was intentional, or was it supposed to be a typo?
Profile Image for Punica Bhardwaj.
15 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2021
I could not put this book down

When I started reading this book, I was intrigued by the title and the premise. What I didn’t expect was the sheer amount of the realness of the story. Alessa and Lilla are all of us , in some part or the other. There are
many times during the story that help you validate the reality you’ve lived with and to think “you’re not alone”. At some points I was annoyed by alessa for not even trying to work on herself but as you dive deep into all that she went thru, you cannot help but side with her. She did all she could and thank god for her courage at barely 12 years old to take charge and protect her little sister. All older sisters /siblings can relate to that.
At the heart of this book is a story about mental illness and the stigma around it. We discover the one disease which was the root cause of all the issues everyone faced, but I can’t help but wonder if Pam had one too? The behaviour she exhibited cannot possibly be categorised as ‘normal’. My heart breaks for the father, he didn’t deserve it but I wish he’d just stood up for his girls.
This book is extremely hard to read due to how much trauma is discussed, but at the same time it’s very hard to stop once you start.
(It was also fascinating to read the dialogues between vinay and alessa. It sounds like a lot of my buddies from India! I do wonder if the name Prakeet was a typo. Did the author mean to name the character Prateek?)
In all, 5/5.
Profile Image for Anne Greenawalt.
Author 2 books9 followers
April 6, 2021
Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar is a brave book based on a true story that tackles childhood abuse and the resulting adult trauma like poor relationships, guilt, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem. To ease the heaviness of these topics, the author also provides many doses of light-heartedness and hope, mostly in scenes with the protagonist's children and kind strangers.

The protagonist, Alessa, narrates her story to show her complicated adult relationships with her parents and uses journal entries to illustrate the numerous and complex instances of childhood emotional abuse and neglect she suffered because of them. Despite her parents' inability to care for Alessa, she caregives for all of them as they age and become ill. The childhood abuse scenes are uncomfortable, but I think it's her parents' actions and words in her adult life that made me angriest, possibly because I want Alessa to say or do more to defend herself. But the author makes it clear why she is unable to defend herself yet. Alessa's stepmother is a particularly unpalatable character with no redeeming qualities. I'm not sure if I want to applaud Alessa for being so patient, kind, and loving, or tell her to run far away from her parental figures and never look back.

A cast of mismatched lovers and friends sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadvertently help Alessa to heal from her childhood trauma by providing new perspectives on love and forgiveness.

At times, the writing becomes clunky or uninspired, and sometimes the transitions in and out of scenes or in and out of Alessa's journal pulled me out of the story, but the characters and content easily pulled me back in over and over.

Stories acknowledging trauma and its effects are not easy to tell -- or listen to. But Alessa is a sympathetic, genuine character. She doesn't sugarcoat her story: she wears her flaws on her sleeve and doesn't skimp on her life's details. But she also embodies love, hope, forgiveness, and self-healing, which make this an important and empowering story.
Profile Image for Julie Porter.
271 reviews13 followers
May 14, 2021
Spoilers: D.D. Kaye's Ugly Girl Sweet Nectar is a powerful book about child abuse and how those emotional scars resonate into adulthood, making the later years ones of hardship, fear, mental illness, and self-esteem issues.

The book is about Alessa, a woman who is going through massive stress in her life. Though unmarried, she has had three daughters from three different fathers. Right now she is constantly arguing with her youngest whom she describes as an "Angster"(a portmanteau for angsty teenager). She has a much younger boyfriend but is insecure about her relationship with him. She is unemployed and broke. Both of her parents are going through health crises. Her father is ill and in the grips of his controlling and manipulative second wife. Her mother has dementia and is living with the aftereffects of a life of alcoholism. To cope with all of this, Alessa has decided to do what she does best: write about her problems to find out how she got to this situation and what went wrong.

Most of the book consists of Alessa's current struggles with her children, lack of employment or finances, relationships, and parents and is interspersed with flashbacks of her unhappy childhood and teen years. Kaye writes this so the Reader understands where Alessa came from and why her current life is the way it is.

Profile Image for Emma Weberly.
2 reviews
February 25, 2021
Delightful read. My husband bought “Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar” for me. It’s what I can best describe as a life-changing read. I had experienced many of the same situations as Alessa like childhood trauma, job loss, caring for aging parents, issues with forming personal relationships, self image issues. Ugly Girl Sweet Nectar provided some new and unique insights for healing and forgiving. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has been affected by physical and/or emotional trauma of any kind. As the book reminds us, we are products of our environment, but our environment doesn't have to define where we end up in the future. *Peace*
8 reviews2 followers
Currently reading
June 4, 2021
This book took me for a ride, and I want to personally thank D. D. Kaye for being brave and vulnerable enough to share this story. Beautifully written and raw, the way this story is conveyed through language is an honor to read and experience with the author. No one could ever question victimhood after reading this work. I would read anything written by a writer with such a way with words, charming really. :)
Profile Image for Naquasia Baldwin.
Author 1 book4 followers
April 23, 2021
When I read the title of the book it caught my attention instantly. I played around in the beginning because I was scared to read it. The rawness of Alessa’s words are intriguing. It’s a fictional story I believe but it’s relatable. The trauma she faced in her life is hard to read because of how realistic it is. I love her relationship with her daughters even her teenager who’s like “whatever” about everything. Her parents are disturbing if anything I can’t believe they both played a part In so much pain in her and her sisters life but at the same time I feel like I was there with them. She has healed from the trauma and at the end this is a empowering book.
Profile Image for Maria Rivas-mc.
222 reviews4 followers
February 21, 2021
There were elements I really enjoyed in Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar, particularly the laugh out loud bits. Then, there were moments when I skimmed to get to the next part. And, there were times when I really had no patience with the lead character who had a childhood from hell but, then, three children later when does adulting kick in?

At one point, I wondered if the experiences of different people had been coddled together. The mother, father, stepmother relationships were very weird to me and her response mechanisms even more so. A succession of bad choices combined with a focus on the frivolous when she’d been unemployed for months left me exasperated.
However, it may just be me.

I received a complimentary copy for a fair review.
86 reviews3 followers
February 13, 2021
A personal memoir with strong personal experiences, this book is difficult to sum up in one word. It has a mix of the universal philosophy, the pain of the wronged, the love of a child towards one’s parents, the care of a sister, warmth of a mother and genuine of a friend. One could easily relate to the protagonist, with their share of troubles and daily challenges, with numerous curve balls from life. Yet, universe finds a way to send a message to enable the protagonist to embrace the darker aspects of her life and ultimately get some amount of closures.
While certain loose ends do get ultimately wrapped up, I personally hope that the protagonist found a better person for her own life. Written with flash-backs and interspersed with poems, this emotional roller coaster ride is definitely a must read !!!!
Profile Image for BookTrib.com .
1,582 reviews135 followers
April 16, 2021
The cover of this book says that it is based on a true story and a disclaimer declares that it is not a memoir, but whatever liberties Kaye takes in telling this story don’t matter at all when it comes to the intensity, empathy, sorrow and intimacy readers will feel while immersed in its pages.

Read our full review here:
Profile Image for Sadie Green.
2 reviews
February 4, 2021
So grateful to have read this book - loved it! I don’t recall reading a book that affected me quite like Ugly Girl, Sweet Nectar. It inspired me to take a look at hurtful experiences in my own life that caused self-image issues. I commend the author for candidly sharing a difficult story.
Profile Image for Kelly Lenihan.
Author 26 books34 followers
January 22, 2021
I loved this book. There were plenty of "this could be me!" moments sprinkled throughout, as well as plenty of thought-provoking insights worthy of pondering. Although Alessa's life had many sad and even horrific events in it, her strength and resilience were amazing and inspiring. A wonderful read, especially for women entering the second half of their lives who are ready to let go of the "should nots' and embrace the "shoulds".
Profile Image for Nicky Skene.
126 reviews
February 27, 2021
Written in the form of an almost memoir, based on true life but also a work of fiction. However you would describe the genre/type of book - I thought it was a highly emotional read! Our heroine Alessa journals her early lifetime experiences which gives us an insight into the hows and whys of her now introverted and almost secluded lifestyle. Alessa decides to get herself out there but finds it difficult to at first.
I love the way this has been written - present time with the journal entries being written to give us a view of her past. At different times of the book I found it to be happy, sad, funny, infuriating and at other times disturbing.
A first for me from D.D. Kaye, I found this to be very well written and a truly beautiful story overall. Highlighted to me the importance of love, acceptance, forgiveness and beliefs.
Would highly recommend.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Nicole Dunton.
1,183 reviews26 followers
July 14, 2021
This is a very emotionally driven book. I devoured every page! I loved it so much that I bought copies of the book for my friends and family. I fully recommend this book. Please keep in mind that it's based on a true story.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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