25th March 2011, Decadent Publishing
57 pages, (mine was an ARC PDF)
Young Adult, Paranormal
High school life, protective family, diabetes, high school life, life as a teen with hormones, life in Alaska, minor swearing,
Ophelia’s had a wicked crush on Martin since they were kids, but she was always just his geeky little friend. Then, on the first day of her junior year, he’s suddenly and wildly attracted to her. She can’t imagine what’s changed, but shocking her small school’s social order fills her with vindication for insults suffered.
Ophelia meets Adrian right after and true love extinguishes the wicked crush. In secret, he gives her courage against a specter threat.
Tristan is pale and hungry, and draws Martin’s immediate ire. He knows things about Ophelia which she assumes are delusions brought on by an aggravated illness like her own, diabetes. When battle breaks out between his ancient race and new blood, even the courage of her secret love might be crushed.
I can't quite remember all the details of Sugar Rush (SR) (I've read a lot of books since then) but I think Crushed Sugar (CS) has teen romance (certainly by the language being used and how Orphelia views every guy). However, knowing it is the prequel and what happened in SR, this actually makes sense. It is the only way she could have been stupid enough to fall for Martin. Who I wanted to punch and hurl things at before I'd even read the first sentence. Not that he's in the first sentence. I really liked the beginning of CS because it doesn't dive straight into the action. I enjoy books which do that a lot, but I also like it when the start of stories build to to something dramatic that makes me fall in love with story.
I learned a lot about diabetes in SR, and the same is true of CS. There are enough of the little details that it seems very real to me, and it's nice to be gaining a wider understanding of it.
I wanted to howl with laughter at some of Ophelia's thoughts and expressions. Her humour is like mine. Her mother's way of testing to see if she has a fever is funny. I'd liked the reference to colouring in the lines which I believe was in SR. I like how Ophelia begins to use people's impression of her so she can be mischievous without anyone finding out. It's always the quiet ones who need watching. .
As an honest reviewer, I include what didn't work for me, as well as what did. There are a couple of points I wish to discuss, although I have to stress I had a review copy, so there may be changes in the final published copy.
The food processor incident was a bit odd, because at no point before Ophelia messed with it was it mentioned that it had broken or wasn't working properly. What happened afterwards was funny enough to distract me from that issue.
I didn't quite like how Ophelia blanked the strange terms that everyone said to her (Sweet was the main one). I could understand her missing this the first time. She didn't even think that she'd misheard it. There was no mention of it, which felt a little unbelievable. Ok, now I've read a bit more (yes I'm typing this review as I'm reading it...not always the best method) she does question it. But it still feels as though it was handled a little late.
I had an idea of what CS would be about. It feels that nothing happened. Just as things got interesting with Tristen & Adrian, it ended. I'd thought Martin would become more overpowering to Ophelia, that she'd justify all his behaviour as being true love (which he'd have talked her into believing that's what happened). The story started off brilliantly, and was heading in the right direction. But there wasn't a resolution of what happened with Adrian/Tristen/Martin. The way the story ends, as a reader I don't feel that Martin has reached the status of obsessed boyfriend. The tension that was slowly building up fizzled away leaving me confused.
A great insight into how Ophelia came under Martin's spell, even though the ending felt as if it came a bit too soon. I adore Sugar Rush and thankfully can fill in the blanks that Crushed Sugar leaves me with. The majority of the story is funny, well written, makes sense and is enjoyable, over-riding the few parts that left me thinking 'huh?'.
Make sure you head over to Kimber An's website to find out more details about her books.
I've never recommended another review of a book, but make sure you check out Kimber An Jr's review of her mother's book. She's got an entertaining review style which makes me smile and laugh