Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Ansel and Gretchen are looking for a fresh start. Twelve years ago, they entered the forest as a trio, and Gretchen's twin sister, got snatched by an evil witch. Now, their loveless step-mother no longer feels an obligation to keep them in her home, and has kicked them out. They decide to travel cross country to the ocean, and their car breaks down in Live Oak, a small town with a dwindling population that doesn't take well to strangers. Desperate for cash, Ansel accepts a temporary job doing small tasks for Sophia Kelly, a mysterious chocolatier owner with a poor reputation. Things seem idyllic: Sophia becomes like a sister to Gretchen and opens her home to the siblings, and Gretchen feels like she is far, far away from the woods and the witch that have taken her sister. But when she meets Samuel Reynolds, she learns that the witch is still out there, and closer than she thinks.

What Sisters Red had in intense action, Sweetly had in mystery and suspense. Right away, the reader's feelings are torn on Sophia Kelly. She's so beautiful and sweet, but Jackson Pearce sets up an uneasiness about her with swaying moods and a gossipy small town. I tore through this book, wanting to get to the bottom of the mysterious chocolatier, and the secrets swirling around her. Pearce also really raised the stakes with romance, and two outsiders trying to become insiders in a town that is anything but accepting of newcomers.

Pearce did a good job at tying this novel with Sisters Red, the Fenris make another appearance, and Samuel is none other than Silas' brother! However, I finished the book wishing that the novel had stayed a little truer to the original fairy-tale of Hansel and Gretel. I was a little let down by the ending (which I can't share with you for spoiler reasons!), but it didn't completely tarnish my reading experience, and I'm looking forward to reading her third fairy-tale retelling - there are mermaids!

Rating: 3.75 / 5

Have you read this book? Did anyone else love Hansel and Gretel growing up?

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