Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch 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.My Review: I love Jackson Pearce, I love fairy-tale retellings, and I love awesome covers. So right of the bat, Sweetly = Win! But anyway... Sweetly was a great interpretation of Hansel and Gretel, and a great companion to Sisters Red, and it wasn't just a strait up retelling either. Each part of the original Brother's Grimm story was in there somewhere if you were paying attention. :) I LOVE how the author worked it all in.
Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.
Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is. Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
Sweetly started off awesome. It hooked me and pulled me in right away, and got me invested in the outcome. I already really wanted to know where this was going to take me, and the only way to find out was to keep reading. ;) So I did, and I was totally not disappointed.
Gretchen was an awesome character. She doesn't want to forget the past, but she's tired of letting it hold her back. She wanted to be stronger. Ansel didn't have as big a part as Gretchen, and he wasn't quite as awesome, but I did like his character as well.
The overall story was just as awesome as the beginning. It was definitely a page turner with lots of surprises and things to keep me guessing, and I loved the end. The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was the infamous chocolate festival. I don't think it quite lived up to expectations.
Anyway, great read! I highly recommend to fans of Sisters Red and fairy-tale retellings.
Thanks for reading!