Not as Sweet as Sugar
I have mixed thoughts about the new novel Sugar by Kimberly Stuart. I liked the beginning but had issues with the middle and end. I liked the overall story but not the execution and would’ve liked for it to be more risk-taking.
I appreciated the opening scenes when Charlie (the female protagonist) is a hard-working pastry chef, baking away her life in NYC. Those scenes caught my attention and drew me into the book. They were told with such authority and commanding details. Someone getting stabbed in the kitchen for misplacing a head chef’s knife is definitely attention grabbing. But alas, Charlie doesn’t stay at that restaurant or in NYC.
Later on in the book, once she has moved to Seattle, I found myself skimming through the scenes with the dates Charlie had with Kai because they felt so cheesy and rehearsed. It was like watching a CW or ABC Family TV show.
Also, Charlie is not the most likeable of characters. She’s so neurotic and controlling.
The chapters were short and choppy, not in a good way. A couple times I thought scenes needed to play out longer and that the author just didn’t want to write that scene.
Several parts of the book felt cliche to me, especially Manda’s kids and Avery as a character. It wasn’t a shocker when Avery turned out not to have Charlie’s best interests in mind. I liked the reality TV show aspect of the book but even that felt cliche. Like it seemed as if the author just guessed at what a reality TV show is probably like or did research by watching reality TV. Ugh.
The ending of the novel was a beautiful fairy tale one where all Charlie’s dreams come true. Life doesn’t work that way. What if Kai didn’t take her back? What if Charlie couldn’t get out of her contract?
It was an entertaining read but I don’t want to read it again. I’d recommend it to someone who likes baking or reading about high-stress upscale baking and wants an easy beachy read.