A Wonderful Story Full of Hope and Heartache

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Sugar Town Queens was a wonderful young adult story that explored themes of race, wealth/class, friendship, family relationships, mental health, and standing up for what's right and good, even when it's tough. There's even a bit of mystery and sweet romance.

This story was so well written and it was a joy getting to know 15-year-old Amandla as she confronted so many issues within and outside of her family. Amandla's character was so well fleshed-out I found myself feeling the emotions she felt. She was a strong character that showed so much growth, yet she also struggled with anger, fear, and despair which made her so relatable, so realistic. I found myself rooting for her, wanting her to be strong and to see everything through - to be proud of who she is.

The author also did a wonderful job creating the South African Sugar Town setting. I felt as if I were walking along the dirt roads, seeing and inhabiting the tiny tin shacks the residents lived in, watching the children playing sports and hanging out, enjoying little gardens growing, and seeing families coming together for simple meals...all somehow finding joy in their little shanty town.

Most of all, Sugar Town Queens left me with a sense of hope, and with the desire to be courageous.... to stand up and face evil and hate head-on.