Great Coming of Age

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Sugar Town Queens is a YA Coming of Age about Amandla, a biracial South African teenage girl. On her fifteenth birthday, Amandla wakes up to her mother giving her a blue sheet dress and saying she had a vision about Amandla's father. Later that same day Amandla finds a mysterious address and a lump of cash in the bottom of her mother's bag. Amandla is determined to find out what her mother is hiding and when she does it changes her life in unimaginable ways.

This was simultaneously a heartwarming and heartbreaking book. It's all about family and growing up. I loved Amandla, she was such a strong character with a clear voice. She knew her world was small and she was ready to explore more of it. When she finds out her mother's mom wants to reconnect, Amandla jumps in feet first. However, her grandfather, Neville, constantly tries to stop her and keep her from visiting Mayme.

I loved getting to know the Sugar Town inhabitants and see their lives. Amandla's best friend Lil Bit was my favorite. She was a genius and super snarky (my favorite combo). Plus there was definitely some attraction between her and Amandla's new friend, Goodness. These two were so cute and I was immediately shipping it from the beginning.

The ending of this book felt like it went from 1 to 100 really fast. So much happened at the end that I was not expecting one bit and my heart was IN PAIN. I definitely cried at the end and like why did the author make me feel all those FEELS. Very much loved this story and would pick up another of the author's books immediately.

Rep: Black/biracial South African female MC, white mother with PTSD and memory loss, white grandmother with heart failure (chronic/terminal), Black South African male love interest, two Black South African sapphic female side characters. MC and her Sugar Town friends are all poor.

CWs: Abandonment/forced institutionalization of MC's mother in the past, blood, chronic/terminal illness (heart failure), death, death of parent, emotional abuse, grief, medical content, medical trauma-forced electroshock treatment, misogyny, mental illness (PTSD/memory loss), racial slurs, racism, suicide, adult/minor relationship & rape, sexual harassment, gun violence, violence, religious bigotry, homophobia.