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Search tags: Magical-Realism
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review 2017-09-20 13:47
Wish It Had Been Longer & More Resolution to One of the Story-lines
The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

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 Queen" is about three women (Josey, Della Lee, and Chloe) living in a North Carolina town called, Bald Slope. The name of the town threw me the entire time I was reading this by the way. I wanted to keep calling it Bad Slope. 

 

One day Josey is surprised to find Della Lee hiding in her closet and refusing to go. Josey is the daughter of a man who ended up bringing Bald Slope back to life. Having a lot of money doesn't make her happy though. She's a slave to her mother's whims and lives to wait for the mail to be delivered everyday by a man named Adam. Della Lee ends up pushing Josey to go to Chloe's cafe at the courthouse to get her food and the two women (Josey and Chloe) end up becoming friends. 

 

I have to say that I loved how the friendship between Josey and Chloe developed. Heck, I even loved how Della Lee pushes Josey to get out more and stand up to her mother and not be cowed by what other people think. 

 

Chloe is dealing with breaking up with her longtime boyfriend Jake after he tells her he cheated on her, but loves her, he really does. Sorry, I didn't care for Jake and hated the entire resolution to this story. It was such crap. I really wish that Allen had went a different way with this plot line. I actually thought she was at one point, but she veered to everyone must have a HEA even if one of the character's kind of sucks. I hated how everyone acted as if Chloe just needed time to get over what Jake did, and also why was he dumb enough to tell her about it. Bah. 

 

The writing was lyrical at times and seriously the entire book made me hungry. There is a lot of descriptions about cookies, snack cakes, chocolate, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheese with tomato, etc. I was starving and eventually got up out of bed and made myself a small cheese and crackers plate. 

 

The flow works throughout the book, but as I already said, I wish this had been longer. I thought the resolution to all of the story-lines came just a bit too quickly. I felt like I was missing some key chapters or something. Maybe one day Allen will revisit Bald Slope.

 

 

 

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text 2017-09-20 02:24
Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

 

This is likes grown up version of Snow White I think. I am getting hungry though by the descriptions of candy and good smells. I want some chocolate. We've shifted to another character that has books follow her. I wish I had that power.

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text 2017-09-19 02:44
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

Have not started. Taking a book break.

 

Planning on reading this for Terrifying Women.

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-17 20:22
A Red Tale by Nicola Mar
A Red Tale - Nicola Mar

Beautifully written, but just not really for me.

 

There really is some lovely writing here though. Some days, for me, that's enough, but not here. I'm kind of over essentially passive MC's who don't really seem to have any agency (or when they do seem to, not doing anything with it.) 

 

The MC here is so busy having things happen to her, and deus ex machina helpers pop up a la Alice in Wonderland style to move the plot along, that she almost disappears into the scenery. Some kind of tabula rasa for the story to be projected against. 

 

If you like Kate Griffin, Catherynne M. Valente, perhaps John Crowley (and I do, all three, very much), you might give the sample of this a shot though.

 

 

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review 2017-09-12 14:36
Second Book in Series Very Good
Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch

I read "Moon Over Soho" by  Ben Aaronovitch for the "Magical Realism" square.

 

Please note that some things mentioned below may spoil the events in book #1. 

 

"Moon Over Soho" is the second book in the Peter Grant series. Due to a lot of us participating in Halloween bingo are reading this book, I am just going to keep this to a high level review.


First, I really liked all of the characters (Peter, Leslie, Nightingale, Peter's mom and dad, the jazz band guys).

 

Peter though I found to be way more than a little naive in this one. And I don't know, I found myself irritated with him for just not realizing something that I picked up on at a good 50 percent of the book. Don't want to spoil for others, but let's just say I was the least surprised person ever when a reveal popped up. 

 

I wanted more of Leslie in this one. After the events in book #1, Leslie is laying low and trying to put her life and her poor face back together. I don't get it, I thought that Peter was a bit thoughtless towards her character. Now that she's not attractive anymore it seems he lost interest. Which doesn't speak well of him. I have to think more on that.


We do get some nice asides to Peter's family and his mother and father I found to be very cute together. I also liked Peter's commentary on black female hair (it's all true). 

 

The writing was really good and just like in book #1 I laughed. One particular scene with Peter telling Nightingale that calling someone a black wizard was offensive towards black people was funny. Poor Nightingale. Can we please get a side story about his days before he joined the police?

 

The flow dragged for me in this though. Probably because as I said, I realized where the story was going after a lot of clues where laid out. I just got fed up with Peter for not being that smart. Also his complaining about magical training is getting old. Either suck it up, or don't do it anymore.


The ending left us with a little surprise and I wonder how that will play out in future books. 

 

 

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