Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book Review: The Truth About Sugar (E.M. Youman)

The Truth About Sugar
by: E.M. Youman

Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Short

On the verge of healing, an absentee stepfather takes his daughter to counseling, but explaining the past maybe too much for either of them to bear.
She's a banshee screaming, sugar-starved monster, and her zookeeper has left you all alone with her.
That's what's running through twenty-nine-year-old Henry Dalton's mind, when his five-year-old stepdaughter, Rebecca, enters the room and utters these fatal words. "Where's Mommy?
After deciding that fixing this problem-child is the key to winning his wife back, Henry comes up with the perfect recipe for turning Rebecca into the world’s little angel. Out goes the Valium and sugar-free snacks. Add a little pizza, ice cream and presto! But he soon discovers there's more than meets the eye with Rebecca. Now he'll have to remember what it's like to be a five-year-old and learn to communicate on her level.
At the center of the chaos is a sweet, little girl, who can charm the pants off him.
Which leaves him wondering if she’s an out of control banshee, or a victim screaming for help?
The child he never wanted to claim is the one who needs a Daddy the most.
A heartwarming coming of age tale about appreciating the gifts you have right in front of you.

It didn't take long for this story to piss me off! Seriously, these people are easy to hate.  
Let's play a little game of character first impressions, shall we:
First, we have Molly, who divorces her first husband (Theo), so that she can marry the "other" man (Henry). Theo, the professional boxer, and Molly (the cheating slut) have a daughter, Rebecca. Rebecca, is the spawn of Satan (also referred to as the Antichrist, by Henry). Henry....let's just say that he was my least favorite character......initially. It was pretty obvious that he wasn't a fan of his step-daughter, so I immediately found myself wondering why in the hell he was the one who took her to Dr. Campina's office (the books setting).
Rebecca's constant need for her mother's attention, and random irrational temper-tantrums, made Henry feel as though they were competing for Molly. To make matters worse, Molly decided to run away from reality, leaving Henry with the responsibility of caring for Rebecca. At first, I thought that was the absolute worst thing she could have done, but it turns out to be the best decision that she ever made. After the initial shock wore off Henry decided to make the most out of a less than ideal situation, and in the process he forever impacted her life.

I don't want to give anymore of The Truth About Sugar away, but I feel compelled to say that my opinions of the two most important characters, Henry and Rebecca completely changed. Rebecca was a simply a little girl who needed someone to save her. Henry became both her voice, and her savior.

This short story didn't lack in the content department and did an awesome job of invoking emotions.  I hated that it wasn't longer...that I couldn't intrude a little more in the character's lives, but it worked and I'm so glad that I read it!

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