Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: Sweetly - Jackson Pearce

Where I got it: From Publisher for review
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (AMAZING! So creepy and perfect, I love the colors too. I love that is matches Sisters Red in some ways.)
Genre:Young Adult
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 310 p.

Gretchen and Ansel are sister and brother. They used to have one more sibling until they lost her to a "witch" in the woods. It's been twelve years since that day and while they can't forget it, they are trying to figure out how to do something else. With the rest of their real family dead their stepmother cast them out into the world. Gretchen and Ansel decide on a little road trip. They break down in Live Oak and are taken in by a friendly chocolatier. She seems nice enough, but the town folk whisper about her. The trees whisper to Gretchen, she knows there is something in the woods, maybe the same thing that took her sister all those years ago. Gretchen just has to find out what it is, what it wants and who will help her.

This book did great justice to the tale of Hansel and Gretel. I really loved Jackson's writing style too. This was deliciously creepy and wicked spooky. I read it mostly at night, and thought about it long into my dreams.  I liked the idea of the witch as being this unseen thing that Gretchen can't help but fear. It was also super interesting that there were three kids to begin with and then two left to remember what happened. It was really a great wait for the story to play out so that you didn't know what was going to happen next. I liked how strong-minded Gretchen was, even if she as still afraid of the forest. It was a little weird how brave she was a times. I can see having some pent up frustration after all those years of being afraid, leaking out into bravery though.  I have not as of yet read Jackson's other books, but now I am definitely excited for more from her. The editing seemed a little nonexistent in the last chapter or so, which it's an ARC so that can definitely happen, I just hope the errors are fixed before publication. I really love fairy tale retellings when they are done well and this one takes the cake. It isn't even so much a retelling but a what if it happened like this sort of story. I really enjoyed this up until the very last smile. The characters were all memorable, but I didn't love Ansel, he seemed very weak-willed. Falling completely for one chick when they really barely knew each other. I think it's always a little weird when secondary characters fall in love, because your main character isn't usually observing them, but rather a little more self focused. I think this would make a fine beach read, but a better stormy night read. Either way make sure you snatch this one up when it comes out.

First Line:
"The book said there was a witch in the woods."

Favorite Line:
"'More noise that makes it obvious you're a girl, not a wild boar,' he says."


  1. Duly noted! I will definitely be snatching this up. I'm so glad you liked it! Like you, I didn't read SISTERS RED or her other books, but this one looks too good to ignore.

  2. ohhhhh yes he came out with a sequel!! I read Sisters Red, loved it.

  3. This sounds really good! The cover is kin of creepy though..

  4. Sounds great! I've never even hread of a Hansel and Gretel retelling so I'm very intrigued :)
    And I love the creepy cover!

  5. I love the story of Hansel and Gretel (being I'm from Germany). This sounds like a great re-telling.

  6. I need a good stormy night read...sounds like this is a scary take on the already creepy Hansel and Gretel story.

  7. Jealous! I've been eagerly awaiting Sweetly, as much for the story as the awesome cover. I read Sisters Red a while back and loved that, so I have no doubt that I'll gobble Sweetly up just as quickly. The story seems much more than what I had originally thought and I'm all for the spooky factor. Great review :)

  8. Great review :D I love Jackon's retelling of Red Riding Hood in Sisters Red so I'm really excited about her retelling of Hansel and Gretel in Sweetly!

  9. I love the idea of retelling Hansel and Gretel and the fact Gretchen (the girl) is the strong one :-)

  10. If you haven't read Sisters Red, you'll love it. It does a little change up on Little Red Riding Hood. Definitely makes it a much more interesting story. Really Good.


  11. I love how you said that it's "deliciously creepy and wicked spooky" makes me want to really read it.:)

  12. I'm really looking forward to Sweetly and I love your review! So lucky that you got to read this :)

  13. What a great review! This sounds like so much fun, and even though it's a re-telling more unique than so many others out there. And I LOVE, LOVE that cover! So creepy!

  14. Great review! I loved Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, and Sweetly is a "companion" of sorts to that so definitely check it out!

    Love the last recommendation to read during a stormy night!

  15. Thank you for your awesome review! Sweetly sounds really good, I can't wait to read it! :D

  16. Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Look forward to reading it.


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