I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.
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.
I LOVED this book. I expected to read this in a couple of days, but once I started, I simply couldn't stop myself.
This book made me so, so , so sad. I hated how Sugar's family treats her, except for Fat Henry. They don't even give her time to breathe, they just shoot her without interruption. I was so angry that I wanted to cry and I had to stop reading for a couple of seconds once in a while to digest all of this. The worst part is probably the fact that Skunk and Sugar's mother don't even seem to realize how badly they treat a family member and they're completely guiltless. I would've punched them repeatedly. Also, the way Sugar sees herself made me really sad. I'm no stranger to confidence issues, even though I might not be fat, but her thoughts made me ache for her. The way her family members treat her doesn't help, which is another reason why I was so angry while reading this book.
All the anger and sadness I experienced made Even perfect to me when he arrived. I loved how he treated and how much better he made her feel. I was really happy when he realized how bad Sugar's life was and tried to make her realize it, too. He made a great difference in her life and I'm really thankful for him. He acted so sweet towards her that he made my heart melt and I would've cried at things he said or did sometimes. He's a great character and I loved how he and Sugar bonded.
I think this book is good at dealing with eating disorders because Sugar tried to change the way she eats, looks and lives for herself. She realized that always being breathless wasn't good for her and that there are other ways for her to feel better than to eat. I'm glad she didn't do it to please someone, because it would've been such a fragile change in her life.
I wish Sugar had realized that she isn't the only one with confidence issues. She always talks about people who aren't fat as confident and fat people as insecure, but weight isn't the only problem. It bugged me a little, because it's as if she's judging, too. I understood her point of view, though, I just wish she had realized people around her have insecurities, no matter how beautiful or confident they can seem.
There's an event that surprised me and that I wish didn't happen, especially since it seemed an odd moment for it to happen. However, things got better after and I liked how the story ended, so it wasn't too bad.
I highly recommend this book. It made me feel so much more emotions than any other book I read recently and I'm convinced I'm not the only one who experienced that.
(Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)