Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

When Gretchen was a child, she, her twin sister and her brother Ansel went for a walk in the woods.  That day, a witch took their sister and they never saw her again.  Years later, after the death of their parents, Gretchen and Ansel's stepmother throws them out and on their way to the ocean, they end up in the town of Live Oaks.  They meet Sophia, a beautiful and sad girl who owns a chocolate shop.  Gretchen and Ansel end up working for Sophia and living in her house.  Gretchen feels free for the first time since her sister died.  But the longer Gretchen lives in Live Oaks, the more she senses that something isn't quite right.  And neither is Sophia.

I discovered after I'd read this that it's a companion book to Sisters Red.  I haven't read Sisters Red, and since it was suppose to be a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, I was all sorts of surprised when the werewolves showed up.

So it was kind of a retelling on Hansel and Gretel, but not really.  It was really, really loose.  If they didn't have the names Gretchen and Ansel, and it didn't say on the book it was a reimagining of Hansel and Gretel, I don't think I would have even though of it.  So the push to make it seem like Hansel and Gretel made me feel like, the publishers at least, were really hoping to cash in on the "reimagining of fairy tales" mini craze, and connect it to how Sisters Red was Little Red Riding Hood.  At least there were wolves in Little Red Riding Hood.

Pacing problems.  Serious pacing problems.  It dragged so much.  The entire middle of the book hardly moved the plot along at all and felt like it was just killing time. 

Sophia has a big chocolate festival every year, and she gives the 18 year-olds seashells and this marks them for the werewolves.  What?  Why does she need to have a chocolate festival at all?  Do the werewolves look for the seashells before they eat someone?  Why did they need Sophia?  If they can sense when someone's blood is the sweetest (when they're 18) why did they need Sophia to throw this whole festival thing at all?  The base of the whole story felt shaky.

Also, damn, Sophia was a terrible person, no matter how much she insisted she was a good person.  I don't care if they do have your sister.  You let like 20 of your friends get torn apart by werewolves in exchange?  And yet Gretchen and Ansel still loved her, even though Sophia was totally going to let werewolves eat you, Gretchen.  Weird.  Sophia wasn't that nice of a person, even when she wasn't plotting the deaths of the local town girls.

At the end of the book, Gretchen, Ansel and Samuel head off to the ocean, and since that's supposedly where Sophia's sister is being held, I'm figuring this is going to be a series.  You'd think Gretchen would want to go back to where her own sister was killed, and take care of the werewolves there, but I guess not.

A note that it gets a little gory at the end.  Nothing too intense, but there are werewolves eating people.

So I thought it was a little weak, and a little draggy.

Sweetly will be available August 23.


  1. Fairytale retellings are sometimes very captivating. This one sounds like one of those...thanks for sharing.

    Here's MY WOW POST

  2. Huhm, the summary would have had me hooked immediately, your review makes me careful now... But thanks for the heads-up :)

    Nickey @ The Book Shop Assistant

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I am loving the cover to this book, and it's always fun to read a new spin on an old fairytale :)

    New follower here, I spotted you on the WoW list for this week-- "Librarians" caught my eye, as I am a blogging librarian myself...

    Feel free to check out my WoW at LC's Adventures in Libraryland


    I also have a more "professional" (I guess you could call it) blog called Stacking Up: A Blog for the Modern Librarian if you want to stop on over there as well!

    Have a great week and happy reading to you all :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...