Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce


Title:  Sweetly
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: January 1st 2011
Pages: 310
Genre:  YA Fairy Tale Retelling
Series: Fairytale Retellings #2
Source: Hardcover


The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go.

As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear too.

Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.

Life seems idyllic, and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival each year, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet, the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.

Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

Another AMAZING Retelling. This story was amazing. I loved every part. The characters were wonderful and likable, the twist on the fairy tale was fantastic, and the writing style just perfect. 

This fairy tale retelling is about Hansel and Gretel but named Ansel and Gretchen. This story starts with a snippet from when Gretchen and her twin sister were 6 and Ansel was 7. They wondered in the forest one day and only two of them came out, Ansel and Gretchen. We then start the with the present day to learn that shortly after the incident in the forest, their mom died and their dad remarried a not so nice woman. Now their dad is gone to and their stepmother kicked them out of the house once Gretchen turned 18. They decide to travel from Washington to South Carolina and end up staying for a while.  This is where it all happens. The witch, the candy, the strange events. 

Its sometimes hard to review a fairy tale that has been told many times many ways. Its Hansel and Gretel but not. I love the twist that Jackson Pearce puts in her retellings. I loved Sisters Red and I loved this one too. Jackson Pearce has a way of writing that just draws me in. The setting, the characters, and the story blend so well, it is truly believable. The story has romance, action, thrills, friendship, and a just a little creep that may keep you up part of the night. The story tied really well into Sisters Red. It’s more a companion book than a sequel. Even though it is a different story all the same elements that made the first book magic were indeed in this book.
The story, the setting, and the writing make this book wonderful but the element that really grabbed me good was the character building. Gretchen was a very likable main character and was easy to relate to. She had gone through more than any child should have and she was still treading on. She was scared and felt weak but she wasn't whiny. She wanted to be strong and had the desire to do whatever was needed to become stronger and overcome her fears. She had determination and some real strong will power. I wasn't as much into her brother, Ansel. He seemed to fall into traps a bit easier than Gretchen but he was there for her and the bond that they shared was unique and strong.  Samuel Reynolds comes across as the crazy bad boy, the misfit of the town. He was sarcastic and a loner and well we all love these types of men in our stories don't we?

There is a bit of romance and it was sweet and didn't come across to forced. The different relationships in this book really made the book come together for me Friendships, family, and love all made its way into this story. I loved them all. 

Loved this book and I am very excited for the next companion book to come out. These books will stay in my collection to be reread for years to come.


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