Sugarfiend — Caroline Burau
Except for the fact that her boyfriend just dumped her, her boss is in love with her and she’s a sugar addict who has just gone cold turkey, Estelle Brown seems to have her life together. That’s when you take into account that she’s a reformed alcoholic and drug user.
But sugar may prove to be the hardest habit to quit yet. When her best friend and roommate Gloria skips town, leaving her alone with her addiction and self-destructive personality, all bets are off. Estelle hits the road as well and ends up on a hilarious journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance.
She hasn’t gone far when she falls of the wagon after meeting two sisters. After drinking herself into oblivion, she wakes up and discovers the three of them are booked on an all-you-can-eat cruise. From alcohol binges to food binges, Estelle manages to humiliate herself, get robbed and end up in jail, and that’s just in a week’s time. But the cruise isn’t over for Estelle yet, and before it’s done she’ll find new perspective, a better self-image and love, all while still being her ornery food-obsessed, self-deprecating self.
I’ve read enough chicklit to say that this isn’t your run of the mill romantic comedy, as I like to refer to them. The heroine doesn’t usually have Estelle’s sordid substance abuse past. But it definitely added some depth to her character, making it easy to see why she is so easily unhinged.
Estelle is not only a character with depth, but she’s relatable. She’s weak about men, alcohol and food, but her strength comes in her humor, and her ability to pick herself back up again. I would totally hang out with her. And probably have fun eating a carton of ice cream with her. She’s real.
I wasn’t a fan of the prologue because I found it confusing, but once you get into chapter one it picks up and then at around page 90, I got the alerts, which is what I call it when I can suddenly stay awake and read all night. When she landed herself in jail, I really dug in. I can say I truly enjoyed the read, and ride. At times I wanted to choke Estelle and demand she stop her insanity, but more than anything I wanted her to succeed. And when a character makes you care, then all is right in literary land. Find Sugarfiend at Amazon in print for as low as $9.64 and on the Kindle edition for $3.99.