Sugarcoated (Leftovers #1)

Sugarcoated by Sarah Epstein

Sophie’s sweet plan is about to get complicated.

Bad things come in threes, right? Apparently not for Sophie. It seems like everything in her life is turning sour. Her family’s crumbling, her creative spark has fizzled, and school’s unbearable now that her ex-boyfriend and best friend are sweet on each other.

So when Sophie lands a summer job at Seaside Candy Co, she doesn’t mind swapping beach days for lollipops and jellybeans. She has a plan: earn enough for a plane ticket to her dad in New Zealand and reboot her sixteenth year somewhere new.

But the Sweetest Store on the Coast soon becomes a mixed bag of complications. Like Simon, the buttoned-up work rival she can’t seem to get out of her head. Like trying to figure out if her boss’s extra attention is professional or inappropriate. And what exactly does a co-worker know about Sophie’s family that might just upend everything?

Welcome to the Australian coastal town of Leftover Bay, where residents are navigating friendships and family, first love, and figuring out where they fit in the world.

This is book 1 in the Leftovers series.

YA Contemporary
Ages 13+ | 388 pages

ISBN: 9780645332230 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780645332223 (ebook)
Publisher: Fourteen Press
Distributor: Ingram


“This book was charming and gorgeous, and a must-read for anyone who loves a good YA contemporary. I honestly gobbled it up! Highly recommended.”

Poppy Nwosu, YA author

“I thoroughly enjoyed this contemporary Aussie YA – it rolls along at a good pace with a cast of believable, diverse and well-rounded characters. An excellent sweet read with plenty of added ooomph.”

Carolyn Gilpin, YA author

“Epstein’s first contemporary YA novel is a refreshing read, filled with complex characters that you can’t help but feel for. Sugarcoated is heartwarming and honest, and tackles issues that so many readers have lived through.”

Julie Oakley, Goodreads reviewer

“After reading this wholesome YA romance, I can say with absolute certainty that I could never be let down by Sarah Epstein. I am so thrilled that Sarah’s seemingly effortless style and skill have transferred without a hitch into a new genre.” 

Leigh Briar, Goodreads reviewer

“I love the character of Sophie so much – she’s so messy and honest with such depth and sweetness underneath. The predatory boss storyline was so well handled and the book didn’t shy away from the complicated family dramas of Sophie and Simon. And yet it was also sweet and swoony and such a delight!”

Belinda Grant, Goodreads reviewer

“I really liked the Australian setting, and the characters were fantastic. The protagonist was likeable and relatable, which made for an enjoyable story. If you’re a fan of contemporary YA, I definitely recommend giving this book a go!”

Becca Fitzpatrick, Goodreads reviewer

“This story balances a cute romance that I was invested in, a sweetshop setting near the beach in a coastal town, with the more serious topics it handled really well – sexual harassment at work, Sophie’s dad leaving, and her future plans to try and join him in New Zealand.”

Vee_bookish, Goodreads reviewer

“I loved the atmosphere of the coastal Australian town. I loved Sophie as a protagonist and I felt for her trying to navigate her life situations. I enjoyed the slowburn romance between Sophie and Simon. This is just an all round, well-written, enjoyable read and I highly recommend.”

Natalie Gold, Goodreads reviewer

“This is a fun enemies-to-lovers young adult romance. I found it cute and romantic, but it also addresses some serious issues, like harassment and betrayal. It was a light and relaxing read and I can’t wait to read the next books of this series set in an Australian coastal town.”

Bookishdays, Goodreads reviewer