SWEETLY is a modernization of Hansel and Gretel and a companion book to SISTERS RED.
Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.
Years later, after being thrown out of their house, Gretchen and Ansel find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, a place on the verge of becoming a ghost town. They move in with Sophia Kelly, a young and beautiful chocolatier owner who opens not only her home, but her heart to Gretchen and Ansel.
Yet the witch isn’t gone—it’s here, lurking in the forests of Live Oak, preying on Live Oak girls every year after Sophia Kelly’s infamous chocolate festival. But Gretchen is determined to stop running from witches in the forest, and start fighting back. Alongside Samuel Reynolds, a boy as quick with a gun as he is a sarcastic remark, Gretchen digs deeper into the mystery of not only what the witch is, but how it chooses its victims. Yet the further she investigates, the more she finds herself wondering who the real monster is, and if love can be as deadly as it is beautiful.
I love retellings! It is really cool to see how different authors interpret the same story and how they make it their own. I have also liked Jackson’s other books so I was really excited for this book!
I liked this take on the classic Hansel and Gretel story because of the differences from the classic story. The story starts with Ansel, Gretchen, and her identical twin sister going into the woods, the sister is taken and that one even really shapes the rest of the book, because the different ways that Ansel and Gretchen deal with the grief are prevalent throughout the story and keep the plot going.
I really, really liked the characters in this retelling. Especially the character growth in Samuel and Gretchen. All of the characters were very different and were products of their upbringing and lives which is sometimes neglected in today’s stories.
There were a lot of twists in Sweetly. I went in thinking one thing, and left with something completely different, I really liked that, books that I can figure out right away annoy me.
Only thing I didn’t like about Sweetly was Ansel and Sophie’s relationship, I get that it was vial to the storyline but it really annoyed me it was trivial (IMO) and childish. But it was important in the end so I can appreciate why it was in the story.
A really good book especially for fans of Sisters Red and fairytale retellings.
And that cover? Beautiful and creepy!