Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sugar Queen” as Want to Read:
The Sugar Queen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sugar Queen

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  45,223 ratings  ·  5,197 reviews
Josey lives an uneventful life in her mother's house, her only consolation the sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to in her hidden closet. But one day she finds it harbouring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis and two parts fairy godmother.
Paperback, 341 pages
Published 2009 by Bantam (first published May 20th 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sugar Queen, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andrea Guy I'm about halfway through this book and I adore it! Especially Chloe and the books.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Amanda
Apr 22, 2012 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 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)
...more
Angie
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
Jessica
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 belle...living in a ski resort town in the mountains of North Carolina.
...more
Nikoleta
Mar 04, 2013 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
Tammy
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
...more
Karina
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 I thought this book was a cute, easy read especially for the winter holidays. Her writing reminds me of Hoffman. A story filled with magic and romance and sadness. I like that her characters are in a tough spot but they persevere to come out better people. This book ended with a surprise ending, kinda creepy for the superstitious in us all...
Margitte
This is my third book of this author. It's chick-lit, with a mystery thrown in. Many love interests: some romantic and others scandalous; a little bit of magic; and a few secrets to dolly things up. Southern snobishness with old family histories and a good plot. A chicken-for-the-soul read for those who need something light and entertaining. And I enjoyed the late and great Marco Cirrini, the old goat! He made sure he owned more than just the town ... At least he brought some color into the tale ...more
♛Tash
Apr 28, 2015 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
...more
Kei
Oct 11, 2009 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
PorshaJo
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
Marialyce
Jun 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so sugary sweet that I felt like I was reading the Hallmark channel. Yes, I am not that into you! So, in the future, I need to remind myself to stay far away from the pitter patter of love books. Perhaps I am super spoiled by the love story of Ross and Demelza Pollack that I am currently reading, that I find The Sugar Queen to be so implausible that it is laughable.

Sorry Ms Allen, but your books are just not my cup of tea.....without sugar or honey I might add!
Bam
*3.5 stars

A very cute romance, steeped in magical realism and seasoned with Southern charm. This was picked as the first reading selection for a new book club at my local library--probably as counterpoint to the heavier reads of the 'other' book club.

Josey Cirrini, 27 and still living at home under her wealthy mother's thumb, takes solace in her hidden closet of indulgent sweet treats. But one day she discovers something else in that closet...something that may help her 'get a life.' Some fun s
...more
Jennifer
Sep 06, 2008 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
Beth
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 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,
...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!!!
Obsidian
I was shocked when I finished this last night. I mean I read fast, but not that fast, and than I saw that the ebook was only 278 pages. I think the shortness of the book actually impacted some of the story-lines. I feel of two minds about how one of the story-lines ended (sorry, I am never rooting for a cheater) but loved all of the magical realism/supernatural aspects in this book. Sarah Addison Allen is always a good read for the most part, so this book was very quirky and cute.

"The Sugar Quee
...more
Kate Olson
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved loved loved! Sweet magic, body and food positive. Adorable and heartwarming.
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Sometimes I feel like if I only read Sarah Addison Allen's books, my moods would be so much lighter, brighter. Because even if bad things do happen in her books, you know it's not for keeps. There's an unspoken belief of the world actually being better than it looks, of powers secretly out there to help you or save you. And there's always that magical thing or two that just colors the story with glittery sprinkles. It's a world in which books with things you need to read at that moment simply ap ...more
Erica
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
...more
Molly
Aug 29, 2015 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
...more
Leslie
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
Judy
Nov 27, 2008 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
...more
Heidi
Sep 19, 2011 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
...more
LeenaAlthaqafi
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sweet and charming!
Jennifer
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
Grace
Jun 26, 2008 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
...more
Julie
Jun 09, 2009 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.
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Το κέντησε πάλι το "παραμύθι" της η λατρεμένη Sarah !!!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Love Goddess' Cooking School
  • Return to Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #4)
  • A Year on Ladybug Farm (Ladybug Farm #1)
  • Backseat Saints
  • The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners
  • The Kitchen Daughter
  • Gone With a Handsomer Man
  • The Lost Recipe for Happiness
  • Such a Pretty Face
  • Tales from the Pantry: Random Rants & Musings of a Stay-At-Home Mom
  • When Autumn Leaves
  • Maybe This Time
  • The Witch of Belladonna Bay
  • Blackbird House
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon / Rainwater
  • Nowhere But Home
  • The Rock Orchard
  • Of Bees and Mist
12,051 followers
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
“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.” 814 likes
“Sometimes you weren't supposed to share pain. Sometimes it was best just to deal with it alone.” 378 likes
More quotes…