|Re-read on May 6, 2013|
Published: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Page Count: 310 pages
Series: Fairytale Retellings, #2
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 every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, 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.
Sweetly is a rich, fantastically incredible story that captured me right from the beginning and never let me go until the chilling, epic ending. Sweetly enchanted me with its wonderful writing and stunning characters!
This is one of my favorite series of all-time, and I just had to re-read Sweetly - and it was just as amazing the second time around. Jackson Pearce retells these fairytales in such a way that grabs the reader right from the first page. It's absolutely impossible to put this book down. Gretchen and Ansel have run out of luck and must stay with Sophia, a mysterious, yet beautiful candymaker, and Pearce creates a marvelous suspense that looms over the reader and will have them biting at the nails, turning pages as quickly as possible. I lost myself in this world, but I never wanted it to end. Incredible.
Gretchen and Ansel are stunning characters. They're flawed and broken, but they still have each other in this world. And I loved the brother-sister relationship between them; they fight, don't always agree, but at the end of the day, they love each other and would do anything for the other. Jackson Pearce does a phenomenal job at building their relationship. Sophia is so creepy! She's very sweet and nice, but there's just something off about her. I knew that Pearce could make fantastic characters, but Sweetly definitely proves it.
The world-building? Brilliant. The idea of setting a Hansel and Gretel re-telling in the south was incredible, and it really added to the eerie factor. Everyone seems friendly and knows each other, but there's a darkness swirling around in the shadows in Live Oak, South Carolina, and Gretchen is determined to find out what. Every dark corner, nook, and cranny was masterfully plotted, and I absolutely loved this book to pieces. So, so amazing.
Overall, Sweetly is an enchanted, fantastic tale that had me entangled with these characters and world - it was unputdownable. If you're needing a story like none other, Sweetly is definitely for you.
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