Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Monday, August 22, 2011

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Title: Sweetly
Author: Jackson Pearce
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 312
Source: Finished copy from Little Brown (thanks!)
Companion Novel: Sisters Red
Summary ( 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.
My Review:
Sweetly is a companion novel to Jackson Pearce’s Sister Red, which I haven’t read. I don’t think it’s necessary to read companion novels in the order they were published because they aren’t actually continuations of each other, or so I keep telling myself. I plan on reading Sisters Red, however, because if it’s anything like Sweetly its sure to be brilliant. I couldn’t put down this modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel. I loved how it wasn’t just a fairy tale retelling but also a super cool mystery with a sprinkle of romance thrown in for good measure! Sweetly doesn’t just retell Hansel and Gretel and doesn’t just update it with modern technology, no Jackson Pearce has made this fairy tale completely her own by adding her own twists and turns. At times I completely forgot it was supposed to be like Hansel and Gretel at all and  I love that. What I didn’t love was the cover, it seriously creeps me out to the point where I can’t look at it without shuddering.
I fully recommend this to everyone.