Title: The Sugar Babies (The Sugar Babies #1)
Author: O.M. Faye
Published Date: March 20th 2015
Genre: Christian YA
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Family, friendship, laughter, unrequited love, high school, baking, and heartbreak. Rated PG.
Ollie calls everyone ‘sugar,’ which can sound a little old-fashioned, maybe, but that was Ol. Her mom picked up on it. A few years ago, when we were twelve, we had gotten a little carried away with our wet and dry ingredients in her kitchen; flour and sugar and oil was everywhere—on the floor, across the counters, in our hair and on our clothes and our faces, even. Aunt Lorraine came in and kind of froze at the sight. You could tell, she was more than a little mad. But after a few startled seconds, she started laughing and leaned her hand on the cold stainless steel of her refrigerator door and she just laughed until she cried. I think I would have cried, too, honestly. We had just stood there, frozen. But she was smiling through her tears and she finally said, “Goodness me, my sugar babies! Fix us somethin’ sweet for dessert, ya hear? And Ol, love, ya know where the broom is.”
With that, she had left the kitchen, probably headed to the living room to put her feet up. Evy and Ol and I had stared at each other until we started giggling and Ollie had exclaimed excitedly, “The sugar babies!”
And so our identities and our love for baking had been fused forevermore.
Sugar Babies has a chaste high school love interest, strong messages about friendship and family, as well as a strong message about faith and religion. When tragedy strikes, the Sugar Babies and their friends and family must rely on their faith to deal with their pain.
The structure of the story is interesting. It starts in present day and then jumps back to a year in the past as Tess tells her story. There is a lot of telling in this story, and while not devoid of the other senses, I would have appreciated the story more had my five senses been sparked. The girls are baking and cooking a lot, and that would have offered the author plenty of opportunity to spark up the story with more colorful descriptions of the sights and smells of the kitchen. The inclusion of a few of the Sugar Babies’ recipes between chapters is quaint and homey. The characters are developed as much as possible within the confines of a novella; they’re all likable and realistic. I especially liked Isaac.
The story ends rather abruptly and too the near the climax of the tragedy for me. Isaac is in the middle of sharing–with Tess–a significant life experience when the story ends. I didn’t find it satisfying that he didn’t fully convey the event, his thoughts and feelings, let alone wrap it up and show Tess how his past relates to her situation. That scene could be considered the author’s segue to the follow-on book, Sugar Babies (The Sugar Babies #2).
O.M. Faye’s debut novella is charming and easily read. It is appropriate for all ages. I look forward to reading the next installment of her Sugar Babies series as well as following this budding author’s career.
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