Sugar

by | Read by Tara Sands

Published by Brilliance Audio

Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves. When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother. Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.

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AudioFile Review

Sugar

Narrator Tara Sands deftly presents the sad and challenging life of 17-year-old Mercy Legowski-Gracia, who is Puerto Rican and Polish. Nicknamed Sugar because of her size and love of sweets, she lives in New Hampshire in a rundown house with her mother, who's so obese she can't leave her bed, and her abusive brother, Skunk. Sands convincingly renders "Mama," whose bitterness and sarcasm are palpable, and warmly supportive Even Anderson, a new guy at school who befriends her. Skillfully displaying a wide emotional range, Sands portrays many personality types and delivers diverse accents. Being privy to Sugar's counseling sessions may encourage teens to follow her lead. Listeners will be moved by an unexpected tragedy that Sugar endures while still celebrating her triumph over many obstacles. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine


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