author : jackson pearce
pages : [hardcover] 310
memorable quote : I should be mad. I should hate her. I should judge her. But there is some madness in love.
favorite characters : ansel & gretchen
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.
I’ve had this book to read for a while and am glad that I finally picked it up. Which Hansel and Gretel hasn’t ever been my favorite fairy tale, there’s something about it that’s always captivated me. Maybe because I’ve never wanted to be thrown out of my house and have counted myself lucky because my parents didn’t try to leave me in the woods. Which is a great thing, right?
Gretchen and Ansel started out as pretty generic characters with little to make me relate to them until they start to live with Sophia. I saw more of their personalities as they both related to her. They were able to come into their own and make me enjoy the story a lot more.
I spent most of the novel confused, waiting to hear what would happen next and trying to read further so that I could see the answers to all of the mysteries that were popping up! While there wasn’t a lot of action in this story like in Sisters Red or a unique setting like in Fathomless, this book still had enough in it to keep me hooked. I do have to say that it’s my least favorite in the series (that I accidentally read out of order . . Oops. It’s a good thing they read like companion novels) but I still really liked it.
I recommend Sweetly to all readers who like fairy tales and are looking for a very quick and easy read.