Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

“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 it’s 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.”

In case you haven’t heard, Sweetly is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. This Brothers Grimm’s tale has always been one of my favorites, mainly because my mom is a bit terrified of it. I kind of enjoy teasing her about the typical cottages covered in candy that plague some of the stories. I’ve honestly haven’t read Sisters Red yet, but do have it on my shelf.

The characters in Sweetly are all so wonderfully written. They are each incredibly complex, even some of the characters that we see only once or twice. Each individual has their own set of problems throughout the book, that alone makes Sweetly incredibly realistic. Ansel and Gretchen are fascinating. You cannot help but feel sorry for these two, not only did their sister disappear but as a result they’ve been tossed out on their own. I love that Gretchen was so strong and determined to put an end to all of the disappearances.

While I had my suspicions about the ending, it did shock me. I plan on going to read Sisters Red as soon as I’m done with this review and then sit eagerly awaiting next year’s release of Fathomless.

It releases today! So, go get it now! Especially if you are a big fan of retellings like I am (or love strong kick-*** heroines). Just be ready to crave candy.

I received my copy in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.


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  1. Bonnie says:

    I am loving fairy tale retellings lately and this one sounds fantastic. Great review!

  2. pepsivanilla says:

    I loved Sisters Red! I can’t wait to read this one- it sounds so good. Thanks for the review!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Okay, you’ve convinced me and I have it ordered! Lol!

  4. Molli says:

    OOOH. I’ve been seeing this book all over Twitter today but I had no idea what it’s about. Now I know, and your review definitely is making me consider reading it. :)

  5. Dawn says:

    Great review! I really need to read this book…even though, yes, I am scared of the original!

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Mom. :P
      You should read it! I like how you want to read a book I don’t recommend to you directly, but won’t read books I KNOW you’ll love (like City of Bones).

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