Title: Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings #2)
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy; Retellings
Pages: 310 pages
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Totally surprised by this book. I thought for sure it was going to be similar to Hansel & Gretel and so I had no idea what to expect when I first picked up this book. I was shocked. It is nothing like Hansel & Gretel (it has some similarities at the beginning, but the rest is very very different). This book kept me guessing- really didn’t know where the author was going with it.
I really enjoyed all of the characters and liked watching Gretchen evolve form the timid little girl to the young woman she was in the end. She seemed to go from someone who didn’t trust people and didn’t want to interact with them to someone who loved people and just wanted the best for all of them. I really admired her courage and her constant need to know what happened and why. Samuel seemed like the “bad boy” who everyone hated. I wasn’t sure what to think of him at first, but near the end I liked him a lot and thought he helped Gretchen become the person she wanted to be.
This novel contains a lot of twists and turns and you really don’t know what to expect. I enjoyed reading it and definitely will have to pick up Red Sisters.