Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review: Sugar Plum by Jennie Bates Bozic

Sugar Plum
By Jennie Bates Bozic
Publisher: Jennie Bates Bozic LLC
Published: Dec. 1, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

At six inches tall with gorgeous purple wings, seventeen-year-old Sugar is the spitting image of a fairy - and that makes her the perfect spy. 

It’s the year 2081 and the USA hasn’t been united for five years. Now it’s divided into three bitterly feuding sections - the West, the East, and the Mids, and thousands of families have been separated by the conflict. In order to figure out how spies are crossing from the right coast, the West is targeting caravans of families crossing the Mids illegally. Trouble is, the crossers are hard to track, and that’s where Sugar comes in. 

Every week, she and hundreds of others like her are packaged as Christmas tree ornaments and “donated” to poor children. If they’re lucky, they’ll end up with a crosser kid and dig up valuable information about the clandestine caravans while their wings serve as a tracking device. If not, they fly back to the Candy Factory for reassignment. Wash, Rinse, Repeat until they’ve served enough missions to earn their freedom. 

When Sugar is placed with a crosser kid named Clara, she quickly discovers that the conflict is more complicated than she thought. Clara’s uncle and his family were assassinated and now her parents are running for their lives. Every second that Sugar remains with the family, she puts them in danger. If she leaves, she’ll surely be caught and lose any chance at freedom. If she stays, she might lose everything.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

I guess I didn’t read the synopsis of Sugar Plum very well, and just saw the Christmas ornament on the cover of this book and assumed it was a nice Christmas story. I was completely taken by surprise when I read this story because it wasn’t really a Christmas story at all!

However, I was not disappointed in the least because what I read was a most unexpected and fascinating story. The world has changed and America is broken up into 3 sections Eastern, Midlands and Western. A 17 year-old-girl is shrunken down to 6 inches, given fairy wings, packaged as Christmas ornaments as are hundreds of others. These young people are given to children and told to keep them in their boxes until Christmas eve because if they do then they will turn into a real girl. Sugar is chosen by Clara. Sugar does not remember who she was before she became such a tiny being and believes that she will be released after a certain number of missions.

The author was able to pack in quite a lot of punch for such a short little novelette. I truly did not want the book to end when it did. There were a variety of surprises in this short edition that definitely seem to show that there is something more going on than what appears at first glance - like why is it that Clara’s family seem to be running for their lives? I’m looking forward to reading Damselfly, the next book available.

The best news is that Sugar Plum is permanently free on both Amazon and Smashwords! I rated this story 5 stars out of 5.

I purchased my own copy of this book on Smashwords. All opinions are my own.

About Jennie Bates Bozic:

I'm a visual effects artist for film and television by day, and at night I don my author cape and pen stories for the YA crowd. I love a good fairy tale, especially if there's a creepy twist, so that's what I write. 

I met my husband in the World of Warcraft and we live in Los Angeles with our cat. We spend our time playing video games, reading, hiking, sweeping up cat hair, and cursing the terrible traffic.

I have a bachelor's degree in Religion and Philosophy from Hillsdale College, and some of my past jobs have included: swimming lessons teacher, lifeguard, furniture salesperson, barista, and loan officer. I was especially terrible at the loan officer bit and that's what prompted me to make a major change and go off to Canada to get a diploma in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. After that, I moved to Los Angeles by myself and roomed with two crazy sisters I found on Craigslist. But that's another tale. 

Author Links