Sweetly is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, with one big twist: there was another sister, and she never made it out of the woods.
Ansel and Gretchen have spent their lives in a state of mourning. First for Gretchen’s twin sister, who was snatched from the woods by a yellow-eyed “witch,” and then for each of their parents, as grief claimed them. Now they just want to start over, and their road trip leads them to sleepy little Live Oak. Ansel and Gretchen find a home with the outcast chocolatier, Sophia, and find themselves slowly becoming a part of the town. But there are a lot of secrets in Live Oak, where girls are just dying to get away…or maybe just dying.
I really enjoyed this book! It was a lot more suspenseful than its companion and predecessor, Sisters Red; it may be because I just reread Sisters Red, whereas this was my first read through of Sweetly, but I felt like I was more nervious and more invested in the outcome. I think it was because the tension was more personal. In Sisters Red, there was a goal, sure—stop the baddies while they’re gathering to look for the potential—but it didn’t have the ticking-time-bomb feel of the Chocolate Festival in Sweetly.
I really appreciated how sharp Gretchen was. She didn’t always unravel the clues right away, but she caught on really quickly that they were clues. Her whole goal to become strong and independent was really inspiring…this book just further cemented what I got from Sisters Red: I need to get me some self-defense classes.
I could see in this book Jackson Pearce’s growth as an author. It was tighter and quicker; it got going right away, and it never really let up. It also had decent pay-off. I did figure out the clues a few chapters before the characters did, but I usually do, and I feel like having read Sisters Red gave me a bit of an advantage.
This book leads pretty directly into the third book, Fathomless…and guess what I’ll be reviewing next week!