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Crush. Candy. Corpse. Paperback – Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: James Lorimer & Company (Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459400623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459400627
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,137,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Crush. Candy. Corpse. Last year, Sunny served forty hours volunteer time on an Alzheimer's ward, where she developed a crush on Cole, another volunteer. Now she is on trial for manslaughter. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
This book took me completely by surprise. I was intrigued from the first time I saw the cover and title. I found that I kept thinking about it and once I finally read it I found that I thought about it for weeks after finishing it. The story is amazingly well written, it is told in two parts a trial and Sunny remembering the events that led up to the charges. It all started with required community service hours to finish school.

From the very beginning we knew a tragedy was coming, but we did not know how. We had no idea what got us from where we were to a corpse. Sonja Anna Ehret aka Sunny has been charged with manslaughter, the story takes place a year after the events. The trial begins and Sunny is living through the trial and remembering the story as she experienced it. Sunny was volunteering at Paradise Manor because she had to for school. But while there she meets Cole Demers a young man about her age that comes almost every day to visit his grandmother. They develop a friendship and often spend their time at the manor together helping the older people. Cole shares with Sunny that he promised his grandmother that he would help he pass if it was needed. After an accident Sunny feels responsible for, she is faced with questions or loyalty, commitment and following through.

This is one of the best books I have read in the last year. It will make you think. It will stir your heart. Give it is read it is truly a gem!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Great Read 19 July 2013
By A Book Vacation - Published on
Format: Paperback
This novel opens in the beginning stages of our main character's trial. You see, Sunny has been accused of manslaughter-the intentional murder of an elderly woman in a nursing home, but she says she didn't do it. Sound intriguing? It is.

Forced to volunteer at Paradise Manner (a name synonymous with irony) for a school project, and keeping a journal every step of the way, readers get to know the real Sunny through her own written words, but also others' perceptions of her as the trial commences. My favorite aspect of the novel, by far, is that we, as readers, become a part of the jury. The evidence is presented in such a way that we are given the opportunity to weigh all the evidence for and against Sunny, and it's especially intriguing because we get to see Sunny's thoughts as she sits in her seat listening to the witnesses. Yes, we get to see inside Sunny's head a little more than the jury, and she gets to explain herself, but even way before the end, my mind was made up in terms of her guilt. Did she or didn't she do it? You'll have to make that judgment call as you read.

And, as the story progresses, the title reverberates in the readers' minds: Crush. Candy. Corpse. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why this was the title, but it's is perfect. Sunny has a crush. There is candy involved. And a death. One thing leads to another, but not necessarily in the way you think. Along with the title, I have to say the cover itself it perfect. Not only striking, it shows the main character exactly as I envision her, even though I didn't understand the meaning behind the pink hair for quite some time. I love it.

When I first began this novel, I thought Sunny was going to be a brat. She begins the novel with her rants about having to work at paradise Manor and she spells out just how much she hated the idea and the people in the very beginning. While her observations and wit are often times quite amusing, it does paint the picture of a bratty little girl. But, rest assured, she grows on you. It's not long before Sunny begins to enjoy volunteering, partly because he gets to see Cole, and partly because she really does care about the patients, and as the novel progresses, it becomes more and more about the patients. From start to finish, Sunny morphs into a completely different person, and I loved this, especially as we see the different testaments about her "breaking of rules" and other's perceptions of her. It's true that first impressions are hard to dispel, and in Sunny's trial, it becomes evident that many people hold vastly to those first impressions. However, she doesn't make it easy for them to see past her pink hair and destructive ways, so it makes sense that so many would testify against her. Her past hasn't necessarily been a great one.

Overall, this is a great, clean story that makes you think, and I really enjoyed it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice title - Good for junior reading 19 May 2013
By The Indigo Quill - Published on
Format: Paperback
Being a cosmetologist and also hearing stories from my social-work friends who work in nursing homes, I actually found this book...what's the word...almost endearing with a touch of humor. I felt for the main character, Sonja aka Sunny, as she just seemed to be misunderstood and trying to establish her role in life during her teenage years. We all experienced peer pressure and toxic relationships growing up, but not everyone experiences the selflessness of volunteer work. Especially in a place like a nursing home. Even though this wasn't an action-packed fantasy romance novel, Sylvia McNicoll took me on a journey that pulled me in and left me thoughtful and growing along with the main character.

I really enjoyed the unique format this was written in. We find ourselves ping-ponging between the present-day courtroom and the flashbacks of the 41 hours Sunny spent at Paradise Manor. At first it was difficult to decipher between where Sunny's journal entries ended and the flashbacks began, but after the first few I figured it out. I do wish there was a better division between the two, I think it would have been more helpful to the reader.

From the acknowledgements in the back, it seems that McNicoll really did her research before she wrote this book and integrated some experiences of her own. I like seeing that an author did their homework.

Honestly, this reminded me of one of those kinds of books you read from your school library in Elementary (4th grade+) or Junior High. I think this could be a useful title in those venues as it isn't inappropriate in the least and contains a storyline that provides mystery and education in one. No steamy romance scenes, either.

If you're looking for a light read that doesn't necessarily provide a deep storyline, then I would recommend this book. Like I said, it didn't take me on any grand adventure, but it did leave me thoughtful. 4 stars for this one.
Not My Cup of Tea 7 Nov. 2013
By BailsChris - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's your turn to back a decision. Is she guilty or isn't she? Did she kill someone or was it a simple mistake? Perhaps it was a pack with the family of the patient and she was setup as the fall guy or perhaps we don't understand much of anything at all. In this book, the reader gets a chance to do something that many jurors wish they could do. We get to hear the evidence, hear the case, and get an inside look into the accused mind. My mom is addicted the murder mystery/forensic files/cold case shows so I am familiar with the whole process that takes place in a murder trial but this truly sounded interesting. It appeared to be right up my alley, although I ended up being slightly disappointed in the end with the main character and some of the story.

There are some people in this world that just happen to rub you the wrong way and it's hard to forget, even if they change. Sunny, sadly, was one of those characters for me. Her vibrant pink hair didn't honestly bother me because it fit her rebellious spirit. However rebellion doesn't always equal bratty attitudes and disobedient behaviors that grated on my nerves. I admire characters who manage to show their true nature through their facades of brattiness, however I failed to see it. Yet she did manage to prove that she did care for the residents of the care center and her disobedient behavior became a way to try to make these patients lives better. Her attitude really did continue to bother me though, which proved to be a problem regarding the rest of the story.

The main men of this story are Cole, the son of one of the patients in the care center and the eventual supposed murder subject, and Donovan, whom she actually claimed to be her boyfriend but seemed to lose eventual interest in him. Her parents had forbade a relationship between Donovan and Sunny after he was caught shoplifting but as any teenager and parent knows, when you say no, it only makes the opportunity seem that much better. It drives the girl into the wrong guy's arms and leads her farther away from the good influences of the people who should be closest to her. However, she eventually begins to show some form of interest in Cole but refuses to entirely admit it to even herself. This little crush has a small motive in the whole plot of the story, even if she claims that he is only a friend.

So, now it is your choice. Is this your type of book? It wasn't really mine but I understand that to each their own! Check it out and maybe share your thoughts.
Received eArc from publisher via NetGalley 7 Nov. 2013
By Mirna Garcia - Published on
Format: Paperback
NetGalley Review

Altered By Words

A book title and a book cover have much in common. Each device can be a determining factor when deciding whether a book is worth reading, and if used effectively; a combination of the two can be an alluring, siren call to book lovers. Like a cover, the title barely scratches the surface though. You don’t always know what you’re gonna get…Good or bad.
Originally, I decided to read Crush Candy Corpse based on the title. The combination of candy and corpses made for an irresistible piece of literature to my brain; akin to the boldest and most unusual cover design, and the word crush amidst that catchy language compelled me to request it. Cadavers, sweets, and the possibility of some crush related romance? My mind was practically screaming, I must have it now! While there isn’t anything particularly interesting about Candy, other than it being delicious and colorfully cute, sweet even. Corpses are always intriguing; especially to someone as dark and twisty as I.
Imagine my glee at discovering that a teenage girl was being accused of manslaughter? Death isn’t a happy thing, but the idea of a teen being involved makes for awesome reading! I was dying to see how it all played out! Did she kill the barely responsive patient to end her suffering, and if she did, is it wrong? Should we grant Alzheimer’s patients the mercy of death, rather than allow them to eventually forget how to live?
The story begins with our leading lady Sunny on trial for the death of one of the residents of Paradise Manner. Just when Sunny is thanking her lucky stars and high-fiving herself for being done with her 41 hours of required community service, Mrs. Demers, her crush’s Alzheimer stricken Grandmother, chokes to death on some hard candy she never should have had. I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure about this angle at first because I typically just like to watch court procedurals like Law and Order rather than to read about court cases, but Sylvia Mcnicolls’ writing style immediately kyboshed any lingering reluctance. Especially when she alluded to the possibility that Sunny may have helped Cole murder his grandmother; because of a promise Cole’s grandma tried to talk him into when she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
The author smoothly transitioned between the courtroom and the events leading up to the trial, using Sunny’s community service journals as both a primary means of storytelling and evidence. Through the journals, we get to see Sunny grow. She initially starts off as this self-absorbed, bad boy loving, teen, who I really didn’t think I could like, I mean she didn’t want to use hand sanitizer because of its smell, and used a coffee bean necklace because she was too prissy to withstand the old people smell. Not to mention, she was also in this rather irksome love triangle with her hunky, troubled boyfriend Donavan and sweetie pie crush Cole. Still, the pink-haired fashionista ends up surprising us all as she is the epitome of true character growth.
As each journal is dissected for premeditative motives, the reader gets to watch as reticence gradually becomes love for the elderly folk in her care. From feedings to hair dying, to forbidden doughnut runs, we get to see all the ways in which Sunny seeks to bring joy to those she helps, even if for a moment. We get to see view changes in her as well. For example, she used to feel extremely sorry for seniors struggling to make purchases at the store, and after her volunteer work, her pity changes to pride as those with “trembling fingers”, still have their independence. “Good for you”, she wants to say.
When Sunny’s character was being ripped apart and the nice things she did were being used against her, like when she got one of the patients new pants because his were stained but didn’t label them like the rules expressed, my heart broke for her. I remember her thinking something along the lines of, “if you could only see the last journal entry, you would understand”. I know I’ve thought similar things in moments when I’m being called to task for mistakes I’ve made. “If you would have been there, felt what I felt, you’d understand.” She started off thinking death was better than aging, but changed her frame of mind when a patient she had grown attached to passed on. There’s nothing like the wisdom of experience.
Looking back, I can’t believe I misjudged Sunny for a second. She is such an amazingly compassionate character. It’s sad and beautiful to watch Sunny attempt to offer choices to people who won’t remember them later, and it’s deeply moving to see how despite their lack of remembrance Sunny still kept her word, even when many told her that it wasn’t necessary. Not many could claim such integrity as their own.
I think there’s a bit of Sunny in all of us. Around the middle of the book, she admitted to herself that she liked Cole better than her thieving boyfriend, but she was warring with herself because Cole was sweet rather than the smooth talking popular boy Donavan was. Cole was dorky rather than a token of instant status. How many times in our lives have we known that someone was bad news, but stayed around to not be alone? How many times have we let what others might think slow us down?
Overall, I loved this book to pieces. It gives a very accurate portrayal of what it would be like if a loved one was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and is well written enough to make even the strongest will falter. I laughed, I cried, I pondered, this book is beyond powerful. Trust me. I for one have completely changed my views on Community service, and would whole-heartedly recommend volunteering to most people. Schools require hours because if teens weren’t made to help, then very few of them would learn what career path they’d like for the future and waste precious time dithering about. The threat of not graduating must be in place; otherwise, most would wait to learn till the last minute. Like during the internship portion of the Bachelors’ degree or something. OH and when we finally truly understand why Sunny has made certain ill advised choices, and why she’s the way she is, and just how fragile she is; it will just make you love her even more. I found myself wishing that I could go through my Kindle via some magical portal and hug her as tightly as possible. Normally I write book reviews the moment I’m done with a book, but it nearly took me a week to finish this one because there is just so much I loved about Crush Candy Corpse. It’s not everyday that one is forever altered by words. I’m still trying to catch my breath from this major paradigm shift. Don’t know about dying your hair pink, but I do know that everyone must read this book. Please?
Riveting and humbling 6 May 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
My thoughts on Crush. Candy. Corpse. By Sylvia McNicoll

Crush. Candy. Corpse. Isn't a typical young adult book. I was completely taken by surprise when I started reading it. But I have to make this perfectly clear...

I loved it. I think everyone should read it.

But don't go into thinking it's going to be a sappy, romantic contemporary love story with a happily ever after ending like I did, because it isn't and it won't. This is a totally different experience. One that can potentially change lives.
Crush. Candy. Corpse. Follows the court hearing of Sunny who is charged with murdering one of the Alzheimer patients she was assigned to work with for her high-school's mandatory forty-hour community service hours. The chapters alternate between the courtroom scenes and scenes at Paradise Manor, the Alzheimer home.

The book is riveting. I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next, what witness was going to be called and what they would say...what was going to be revealed in the scene at Paradise Manor...I was immersed in the story.
Sunny starts out her mandatory forty-hour community service hours hating her placement. She doesn't want to be at Paradise Manor. She thinks it smells, the old people are weird, she doesn't know how to deal with them. She wants to be anywhere but there.

But as the story progresses, we see Sunny mature. She begins to develop relationships with the patients, care about them. She worries if they are eating enough, if their families are visiting enough, if their clothes fit right. She develops a sense of empathy toward them that she didn't have at the beginning of the book. We watch this growth as we go through her murder trial with her.

This book touches on some very deep and emotional subjects. Alzheimer's disease and the effects it has on a family and the person afflicted. And, perhaps even harder to deal with, euthanasia. Is it okay to end a person's life if they ask you to? When is the time to do so? Or is it never an option?

Crush. Candy. Corpse. Looks at these questions form a young adult's view. It's a powerful book.

Bottom line: Would I recommend it? Yes! Most definitely. Would I read it again? That's a hard question. As much as I loved the book, it was also emotionally draining. I don't know if I would read it again. Also, knowing the outcome, it wouldn't have the same impact as the first time I read it.

Five Stars. It was an exceptional book. Not what I was expecting at all. It was much, much better!
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