Book Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Title: Sweetly
Author: Jackson Pearce
312 pages, Publisher: Little, Brown
Jackson's Information: Website | Twitter
Buy The Book: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. (Summary provided by Little, Brown.)
My Thoughts:

Monsters lurking in the forest, eerie reoccurring music, a heroine with a complicated past... Sweetly by Jackson Pearce has many of the elements I love in a good book. Add descriptions of sweet delicacies throughout the book and you've got the perfect literary recipe for this sweet-tooth afflicted reviewer.

My favorite scene in the book involves one of the characters, scared out of her mind, singing the song The Big Rock Candy Mountain to herself.The lyrics to this song appear repeatedly in Sweetly, and Pearce uses the song to heighten the air of suspense and to add to the spooky atmosphere throughout.

is a companion novel to Sisters Red, but it is definitely not necessary to read Sisters Red before reading Sweetly. The book can absolutely be read as a stand alone as it has only a couple of references to Sisters Red that will not confuse anyone who hasn't read it yet. Although, with that said, I highly recommend reading Sisters Red. It was one of my favorite paranormal reads of last year.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jackson Pearce at ALA in New Orleans a week ago. (That's me with Jackson to the left.) I love the way she bases her books on classic fairy tales and injects her own brand of creativity into the stories. The stories are not merely a retelling of Red Riding Hood (Sisters Red) or Hansel and Gretal (Sweetly), but a spooky rendering of an alternative fairy tale world.

Below is a video of the song The Big Rock Candy Mountain to get you in the mood to read Sweetly:

Don't miss a thing! Click here to subscribe to Young Adult Smash and here to follow me on Twitter.


Anonymous said...

I love that picture, and I can't wait for Sweetly! This makes me so excited!

BookMystress/Monique Writes said...

Awesome review. . . :D

Post a Comment