Sunday, February 8, 2015


Title: Sweetly
Author: Jackson Pearce
Series: Fairytale Retellings, Book 2
Number of Pages: 310
Date Read: 2/7/15
Genre: Fairy Tale Retellings, Paranormal, Fantasy

Synopsis (Found on

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.

My Review:

I liked this book a lot. Its a nice twist on the Hansel and Gretel Fairytale.

The book is basically about a brother, Ansel and a sister, Gretchen. Gretchen is the main character and the book is in her POV. The book opens with Ansel, Gretchen and her twin (we don't learn her name for a long time in the book, she's just referred to as "sister") walking in the forest thats next to their house in Washington. The kids were young at the time (6 and 7 yrs old) and they were looking for the "witch" that lives in the forest.They find something, it chases them and it gets Gretchen's twin, who vanished. Fast forward 11 or so years and Ansel and Gretchen's stepmother threw them out of the house and they are on the road to find some place to go. They end up in Live Oaks, South Carolina because of car trouble. A man in Live Oaks brings them to a candy and chocolate maker named Sophia Kelly, so that Ansel can do odd jobs for the day to make money to tow the car. Sophia is not some old crone. Shes like a hot 20 year old who took over her family's chocolate shop when her father passed on. To make a long story short, Sophia is hiding secrets and everything is based around her chocolate party that she throws at the end of July. Girls keep going missing in the town after her chocolate party and Gretchen meets a guy Samuel who helps her with some of her issues about the witches. 

I liked Gretchen even though she seemed much younger than she was supposed to be in the book (she's 18). Gretchen is scarred by what happened in the woods when her twin disappeared and she is terrified of witches and woods. She basically has a panic attack whenever she is around woods. And it just so happens that Sophia's shop is next to woods. At first Gretchen loves Sophia and being around her but slowly she begins to question things that she sees. One night she decides to face her fears and go in the woods and thats when she discovers what the witches really are. Gretchen is a person who wants love and she'll do anything to please a person, such as how she acts with Sophia. I liked how once Gretchen knew what the witches were and that there was a way to kill them, so decided to change so that she would not be the scared little girl she always was. She finds Samuel and he teaches her to shoot a gun. Gretchen changes from a girl who was terrified to a girl who now wants to go out and find witches to kill. She goes out hunting with Samuel and she becomes a pretty kick ass girl. 

I like Samuel too. He is a bit prickly when Gretchen first meets him. He's rude and has a bad attitude, but theres a reason why for that too. He saves Gretchen from a witch which gives her the idea to learn to shoot a gun. At first he doesn't want to teach Gretchen how to shoot but he reluctantly agrees. He knows what the witches are and he actively hunts them. During her shooting lessons, Samuel and Gretchen become closer and friendlier to each other. Samuel changes and while he still is sarcastic, he becomes sweet and happier when he's around Gretchen. He protects Gretchen when they go hunting together and cares about her well being. He doesn't like her staying at Sophia's and he offers for her to stay with him. Together they try to figure out the mystery between Sophia's chocolate party and the missing girls. He's also easy on the eyes with black hair and green eyes that are intense, sparkly, and so on.

I liked the romance between Gretchen and Samuel. It wasn't insta love. They started to like each other as the got to know each other. And I like that it was a romance and neither of them said they love each other. It wasn't rushed and they were in the "like" stage of their relationship. I liked this because the reader knows that they will eventually fall in love but right now they're relationship is new. That fact makes it more realistic. I also liked not NOT in your face the romance was. Yes they kiss a few times but its not like they're making out every time they see each other and they can't keep their hands off each other. They hold hands and touch each other (like on the face and cheek lol) and it's a really nice change from the sex-driven romances in many books these days. 

I also liked Ansel. He was always Gretchen's rock and fiercely protected her. It was him and her all their lives and they have a strong sibling bond. Ansel falls for Sophia but even then he still protects and cares about Gretchen above all else. Also Ansel is just a plain old nice guy. I also liked Sophia too. She is nice, sweet and welcoming to Gretchen and Ansel. While she does questionable actions, I can understand why she does them but I don't agree with it. She is a very sad person and is stuck with hard decisions all around. I can't really say more without giving anything away. I also really like Sophia's dog, Luxe. I like the fact that the dog actually had scenes he was in and was around throughout the book, not just mentioned and never seen.

I have to say the action scene at the end where Samuel, Gretchen and Ansel fight the witches was awesome. There were guns, physical fighting, fire, injuries all around and mayhem. It was awesome.


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