Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
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.