Title: Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings #2)
Author: Jackson Pearce
On the Shelves: YA Fiction> Fantasy/Fiction> Retellings
“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 it’s 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.” (Goodreads 2014)
With the Fairytale Retellings series, you can actually read them as stand-alones, they work more like companion novels than a series…however, they do all link to the next one so it is recommended that you start with Sisters Red and work from there. This is a story which is a modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel- or “Ansel and Gretchen”. I can’t talk too much about this book without giving away spoilers, but I will say that I read it quickly and was on my toes the whole time. I had no idea what was going on and there was quite a plot twist in this book. Because of the original story, I was suspicious of a certain character the entire way through the book, but it turns out there is a twist and it’s not for the right reasons! Much like Sisters Red, the characters are all nicely written and the story of the plot is set at a nice pace.
It’s frustrating because I can’t talk about the story much simply because I don’t trust myself not to give away spoilers, but I’m looking forward to continuing to read this series with Fathomless and Cold Spell. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys retellings of fairy tales.