Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Title: Sweetly
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 84% or B
Buy It: Amazon

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.

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.

My Thoughts::
For some reason this book took me incredibly too long to get into. I was under the impression that this was some sort of retelling of Hansel and Gretel, so I kept looking for similarities and only finding little. By the middle of the book, I realized that I was a bit off and was able to read the rest of the book in one sitting.

Once I saw what the story was about, I got really into it. There was a lot of mystery surrounding several areas, and I honestly had no clue what the answers to my questions would be. Information was revealed slowly, but not in a way that made the book boring or stretched out. It was very timely and kept me at the edge of my seat. I can usually predict endings or parts of what will happen, but this time I wasn't able to. Pearce twisted and turned my theories into something unimaginable, and I had to gasp each time a new piece of information was revealed, and of course at the big reveal in the end.

Ansel played a much smaller and insignificant part of the story, and that disappointed me. There were so many points where I thought he would make a wrong turn, or piss me off with a decision, but he never did anything of interest. He was just too darn perfect. I would rather hate a character than feel nothing or be annoyed by them. Gretchen, on the other hand, was just about the only character that we get to know in entirety. At times she seemed a little blind at what was going on, and at others she seemed paranoid. This was inconsistent for her character but I believe it made her character more unpredictable, which was a good thing. Ooooh and Samuel...enough said. He's your typical swoon worthy, loner type.

Overall I was impressed with the thought and ideas put into this book, though the characters could have used some work and originality. I would recommend this book to lovers of big twists on classic fairytales or just enjoys a good climatic mystery.

1 comment:

LisaILJ said...

This one has been waiting for me to read it since it came out. I really need to break down and read it already.