Book Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Fairytale Retellings #2
Author: Jackson Pearce
Pages: 312 Hardcover
Reading Level: YA
Published: August 23rd 2011
Review SOurce: Purcahsed
Avilable: Amazon
 / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

Sweetly is not your normal fairy-tale story. This modern tale that has its familiarities to Hansel & Gretel will creep you out. Just by looking at the cover you can expect the unexpected in Jackson companion novel to Sisters Red last year. The story has a slow build up until the very last 100 or so pages where its just a heart pounding climax. Like I said be prepared to read a new world that Jackson created in the novel. Forget those 2 kids that went to the forest, this is the new take in the fairy-tale. 

Ansel and Gretchen are brother and sister who lost their twin in the wood's when they were young and she was never to be found. They have no parents and step-mom kicks them out of the house. They decide to leave Washington and head to the east coat. Before arriving to their destination their cars gives out on them and they make it to South Carolina. They are given room and board by the local chocolatier, Sophia. She also gives Ansel some work while they are staying with her until their car gets repaired. This small town is not your normal small town. Young girls have been disappearing from the town. It seems that the girls missing in Live Oak might be linked some how to Gretchen and Ansel missing sister. Will Ansel and Gretchen leave again or will they stick it out in Live Oak? Will they be able to ignore those alluring sweet smells from Sophia sweets? This dark-romantic story will homage the original tale and its mythology. 

If you haven't picked up Sweetly, then you don't know hat you are missing. Its like the favorite piece of chocolate and you cant ever find it again. 


  1. This book sounds absolutely right up my alley! I love fairy tales, especially dark modernisations of them. Definitely on my to-read list, thanks for this!

    I feel sort of disappointed though... a dark and modern re-write of Hansel and Gretel has always been one of my dreams to write :/

  2. This is another one on my TBR list that I really want to read. Good to know about the slow build up and exciting climax. I often get bored if I think it's going to be this slow the whole time. Thanks for the review!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. I have this on my TBR. I just wanted to stop in and say I loved your review and that the cover is just fantastic. I love it.



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