Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: August 23, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Fairytale Retellings #2
Summary: As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch-like monster 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.
When their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out as teens, they stumble upon a sleepy Southern town and are invited to stay with Sophia Kelly at her sweet shop. Sophia molds candied magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.
Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel finally start to forget their haunted past - until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel, who gives Gretchen a reason to fear Sophia: girls have been vanishing at Sophia's annual chocolate festival, taken by the insatiable 'witch' of Gretchen's nightmares. Can Gretchen save herself, the girls of Live Oak,and Sophia?
Of one thing, Gretchen is certain: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
Review: After reading Sisters Red I was excited to read another retelling/modernization of a classic tale by Jackson Pearce. That being said it wasn't that I was disappointed with Sweetly because I wasn't, it just wasn't what I was expecting.
I thought this was going to focus more on retelling Hansel and Gretel as far as the witch in a candy shop goes. There was the candy shop in the woods and talk of a "witch", but I didn't expect it to be a continuation of the Fenris from Sisters Red. But hey, I'm FINE with that because Sisters Red was awesome and more Fenris equals more awesome. I was just thrown for a loop for a few chapters.
I loved Gretchen and Ansel. They just seemed so real. I could tell that Gretchen was trying to move on while Ansel already had. Gretchen wanted answers while Ansel wanted happiness. I loved them both throughout the book no doubt about it. Sophia was a different story. I never really trusted her and always found her kind of sketchy. Samuel, oh Samuel. I believe I saw some relation to Silas in him. After all his last name was Reynolds and he came from Ellis, Georgia (if you've read Sisters Red you'll understand).
I hate to make comparisons between Sweetly and Sisters Red but I feel it's impossible. I loved both, but the mystery in Sweetly was much more mysterious than in Sisters Red. I honestly didn't know how everything was going to tie together until the end. I felt like I didn't know Samuel, unlike in Sisters Red where I felt I knew Silas.
Comparisons aside Sweetly was a great book. It was a wonderful addition to retellings everywhere and should be read by everyone!