Candy and Me

A Girl's Tale of Life, Love, and Sugar

Candy and Me

As a seven-year-old child, Hilary Liftin poured herself a glass (or two) of powdered sugar. Those forbidden cups soon escalated to pound bags of candy corn and multiple packets of dry cocoa mix, launching the epic love affair between Hilary and all things sweet. In Candy and Me: A Love Story, Liftin chronicles her life through candy memories and milestones. As a high school student, Hilary used candy to get through track meets, bad hair days, after-school jobs, and her first not-so-great love. Her sweet tooth followed her to college, where she tried to suppress the crackle of Smarties wrappers in morning classes. Through life's highs and lows, her devotion has never crashed -- candy has been a constant companion and a refuge that sustained her.
As Liftin recounts her record-setting candy consumption, loves and friendships unfold in a funny and heartbreaking series of bittersweet revelations and restorative meditations. Hilary survives a profound obsession with jelly beans and a camp counselor, a forgettable fling with Skittles at a dot-com, and a messy breakup healed by a friendship forged over Circus Peanuts. Through thick and thin, sweet and sour, Hilary confronts the challenges of conversation hearts and the vagaries of boyfriends, searching for that perfect balance of love and sugar.
Written with a fresh dry humor that will immediately absorb you into Liftin's sweet obsessions and remind you of your own, Candy and Me unwraps the meaning found in the universal desire for connection and confection. Treat yourself to Candy and Me -- being bad never read so good.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743254410 | 
  • June 2004
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Reading Group Guide

Candy and Me
A Love Story
Hilary Liftin
Reading Group Guide
1. Hilary's memories are attached to different kinds of candy. As she writes about Bottle Caps, "when a good thing comes along, memories have a propensity for attaching themselves to it." Did candy play a similar role in your life to its role in Hilary's life? Is there another lens through which you recall events in your life?
2. The subtitle of Candy and Me is "A Love Story" and candy is a love of Hilary's life, both real and metaphoric. How does her relationship with candy evolve in the course of the book? Do the different "eras" of her life resonate with your own passage from one life stage to another?
3. What are your favorite candies? What are your family's favorites? Did/does your family have seasonal or ethnic favorites for different holidays or do you have a single favorite that you have to have daily or weekly? Have these favorites changed over the years? Are your childhood favorites different from what you like now? If so, why do you think that is?
4. Have you ever forged a friendship or bond over candy or some other food, the way Hilary does with cocoa powder and Circus Peanuts? Have you ever forged a bond over a common dislike of a certain food? Have you ever had a disagreement or a fight over the relative value of one candy or food over another? Which is superior, dark chocolate or white chocolate?
5. What are some of the ways that foods help us connect see more