Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce [Review]

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings #2) by Jackson Pearce
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: October 15, 2013

Fairytale Retellings
1. Sisters Red
2. Sweetly - Paperback | Kindle
3. Fathomless
4. Cold Spell

Jackson Pearce
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Synopsis (Goodreads):
The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go.

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 after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival each year, 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.
Thoughts on Sweetly: I'm a sucker for new twists on old favorites and I REALLY liked that aspect of this book. In fact, the only issue I had here was one of my making -- I *like* werewolves and always expect them to be the good guys. So when werewolves show up and they're soulless, monstrous beasts, it takes me a while to adjust.

Basically, I'm saying that if I didn't come into the book with preconceived notions about werewolves, this book would have been perfect for me. So, you know, ignore any complaints on that end because that's entirely a me-thing.

Seriously, there was a lot that I really enjoyed. Gretchen is so... I don't know, impacted, maybe. It's like her sister's disappearance scrunched her down and made her a compact shadow of herself. She relives those moments in the woods when her sister went missing again and again. It's shaped every aspect of her life from the moment it happened and she's ready to shed that old skin and try to become something new.

I won't say the twist was a total surprise but I liked how everything played out. I liked how Gretchen took control of her fear and found a way to grow into something different. I LOVE the mythology that's laid out about twins -- something that looks to be explored in book 3. I liked the romance. I liked the slightly off-kilter Hansel and Gretel parallels.

Honestly, there was A LOT I liked here. I just have a few issues with evil werewolves. Still, my issues didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. So, there's that.

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