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.
OMG, guys, Jackson Pearce has done it again. She has taken classic fairy tales and bends them to modern times. She's done Little Red Riding Hood as Sisters Red and Little Red is not little, she's bad-ass. This time she takes Hansel and Gretel as Ansel and Gretchen. The blurb tells you the first half. I'm not gonna lie, the first half was a bit slow. But then again, the first half is setting you up for the rest of the story. What Pearce does is she layers. So while Ansel and Gretchen live with the nice candy maker Sophia in their separate little cottage, there are sinister undertone. The real world is incredibly cruel to Gretchen. A little info on Sisters Red is that there's this *super* hot woodsman called Silas Reynolds who is later a love interest to one of the main heroines and HIS BROTHER IS MENTIONED IN SWEETLY. He's actually a love interest to Gretchen and his name is SAMUEL Reynolds. The Reynolds men are just so damn honorable and kinda hot, I am *usually* hardcore behind the Reynolds men. Hey, when you read her writing, you'll see why I feel this way.
Her romance, it isn't awkward. It isn't graphic. It's cute and just the right amount when there's slaying all over the place and the fact that they're both THE BEST DAMN COUPLE EVER.
Sophia was such a complex characters. Like, you grow to love her but you know there's something wrong and then when you do find out what's wrong & the climax and mystery are shown, it's like a Gibbs slap to the back of the head.
Jackson Pearce also does a marvelous way of showing sibling relationships and I loved it because you don't see that in YA lit. Kids are usually only children so Pearce is bringing back family bonds. Because even if you seem to be on the edge, no one, not even your special someone, can bring you back quite like your sibling (*cough, cough* Gretchen to Ansel, Scarlet to Rosie, anyone?)
So this book has South Carolina (hehe), A Reynolds boy, evil Fenris (our bad guys wolves) awesome sibling dynamic, sinister undertones in idyllic places, gossip flying all over the place, a fortune teller and the most bad ass retelling of Hansel and Gretel.