Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

(Fairytale Retellings # 2)
By: Jackson Pearce
Pub. Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 312
Source: Library
SWEETLY is a modernization of Hansel and Gretel and a companion book to SISTERS RED.

Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.

Years later, after being thrown out of their house, Gretchen and Ansel find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, a place on the verge of becoming a ghost town. They move in with Sophia Kelly, a young and beautiful chocolatier owner who opens not only her home, but her heart to Gretchen and Ansel.

Yet the witch isn’t gone—it’s here, lurking in the forests of Live Oak, preying on Live Oak girls every year after Sophia Kelly’s infamous chocolate festival. But Gretchen is determined to stop running from witches in the forest, and start fighting back. Alongside Samuel Reynolds, a boy as quick with a gun as he is a sarcastic remark, Gretchen digs deeper into the mystery of not only what the witch is, but how it chooses its victims. Yet the further she investigates, the more she finds herself wondering who the real monster is, and if love can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

Let me start by saying that I loved Sweetly and I enjoyed it a lot more then Sisters Red. I wasn't a huge fan of Sisters Red so I had no plans on reading Sweetly, but I heard some good things about it and decided to give it a shot. I'm glad that I did, because Sweetly went above and beyond my expectations.

Taking aspects of the fairytale, Hansel & Gretel, Sweetly is about a brother and sister (Ansel and Gretchen) whose sister was taken by a witch in the forest when they were young. With no where to go after there stepmother kicks them out, their car breaks down in Live Oak, South Carolina. Ansel finds work at the home of Sophia Kelly, the local chocolate maker. Ansel and Gretchen moves in with Sophia and for the first time, Gretchen feels like she has a home.

Every year, Sophia holds a chocolate festival and for the past couple of years, immediately following the festival, young girls disappear. Eventually, Gretchen realizes that there is a connection between the strange disappearances of the local girls and her sisters disappearance 12 years ago.

While Gretchen is traveling alone, she is attacked my wolves and the local crazy guy, Samuel comes to her rescue. She learns that there are such a thing as werewolves and it is up to her and Samuel to help save the girls during this years chocolate festival.

Sweetly has everything. There was enough buildup to leave me satisfied and enough mystery to keep me intrigued. The characters were well written, but I would have liked to know more about Samuel.  I liked watching the cute connection between Samuel and Gretchen and I even liked Ansel and Sophia together. All four characters were lonely and it was nice that they were there for each other.

There are also wonderful descriptions of chocolate that will leave you running to get yourself some chocolate as soon as possible!

To add to the awesomeness of the story, how amazing is that cover! I love it!!    


  1. Great review. I can't wait to read this one considering I'm a fan of Pearce's Sisters Red novel.

  2. Great review! This cover caught my eye and I saw it in quite a few mailboxes around the blogosphere. I've been waiting for someone to review it, so thank you! Sounds right up my alley, so will add to my wishlist. Love fairytale retellings!


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