Author: Jackson Pearce
Publishing Information: August 23, 2011 for Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tales, Paranormal
Series information: Book 2 in the Fairy Tale Retellings
Format: Hardcover, 310 pages
Source: Borrowed from my local library
Recommended For: Fans of fairytale retellings and those looking to delve deeper into the mystery surrounding the family introduced to us in Sisters Red.
Sweetly is a companion (not a sequel) to the book Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. Due to the fact that it isn’t a sequel it is not necessary that you read Sisters Red prior to reading Sweetly but there are some small things you may appreciate a little more if you do.
Sweetly is a retelling of the fable, Hansel and Gretel. Gretchen and Ansel are siblings who lose their sister to a “witch” in the forest behind their home. Years pass and both parents succumb to the grief of losing their daughter, leaving Ansel and Gretchen alone in the world. They decide to drive cross country to start over in North Carolina. Their jeep breaks down on the way and they have no choice but to stay in the town for the time being. After some poking around town, Ansel finds a job as a handyman at Sophia Kelley’s candy shop.
Sophia is a young and gorgeous woman who has taken over the chocolate shop after her father is killed by wild animals. People in town are either captivated by her or believe her to be a witch. Those that believe her to be a witch also believe that she has something to do with the eight girls who have gone missing over the years, as they always go missing on the eve of her chocolate festival. Ansel and Gretchen are captivated by Sophia, for Gretchen, she is healing the wound that their missing sister left in her heart and Ansel falls in love with her almost immediately. However, after a time, Gretchen begins to suspect something is different about Sophia and she soon finds evidence that doesn’t paint Sophia in the most perfect light.
Gretchen meets Samuel, the town crazy and convinces him to teach her how to hunt Fenris, the werewolves that those of you who read Sisters Red will find familiar. The two vow to uncover the mystery as well as keep the rest of the girls in the town safe from the Fenris. Secrets are uncovered and Gretchen is forced to come to terms with who Sophia really is.
“There is always some madness in love,
and always some reason in madness.”
I have to say that I enjoyed this story a lot more than Pearce’s Sisters Red. I found myself more connected to the characters in this story which really helped me enjoy the novel on a much deeper level. Pearce also wrote this story in such a wonderful way that I really found myself craving the chocolate and candies that were showcased in Sophia’s shop.
Overall, this book exceeded my expectations, I had hoped to enjoy it more than Sisters Red and I did. Additionally, Jackson Pearce has a third companion novel coming out titled Fathomless that is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I am curious to see if Pearce brings the characters together from the first two novels as they all have the same goals and since Fathomless will focus on the sister of both Silas, from Sisters Red and Samuel from Sweetly.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good retelling and wants their mouth watering at the thought of chocolate truffles and fruit flavored candies.