Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce book thoughts

Title: Sweetly
Series: Yes, Fairytale Retellings #2, companion series, can be read as stand-alones
Author: Jackson Pearce
Published Date: August 23rd, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: I bought it
# of Pages: 310
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Read: May-June 2017

Goodreads Synopsis

The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go. 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 after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival each year, 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.

Rating: 3.75/5

My Thoughts

TW: Fire

I read Sisters Red a year and a half ago. I wish I had read them closer together, because while you can read them as stand-alones, there is some character cross-over where it would have been nice to remember who the heck the character is, though it's not necessary. I enjoyed Sisters Red so I got the rest of them, and apparently just taking my sweet old time in getting to them. There are 2 more, Fathomless and Cold Spell. Anyway on to this one!

It is very readable. I was able to easily get into the world and like the characters. I loved seeing Gretchen's development through-out the novel and hearing her thoughts, it's from her POV. I thought her character was rather well done.

I was slightly bored through-out 2/3 of the book but I say slightly because I did like Gretchen and was wondering so much what in the world is Sophia's secret. I basically kept reading for those 2 reasons alone. I really enjoyed the ending, which made up for any boredom I had!

I had some issues here and there, the biggest one that really sticks out at me though is it's based in South Carolina and has a lot of talk of the confederates and how the townspeople basically worship this long-ago passed away guy, Robert E. Lee (who was a real person, though sadly I don't much about history and being an American, I really should). He was some "confederate hero"...which from what little I do know about the civil war and confederates...wouldn't that mean he was a racist and a bad guy? Yet this book makes him out to be a saint and there are confederate flags everywhere. Yes, I know people like that in real life. It's realistic, I know that. But frankly I didn't want to read about it nor did I understand what it had to do with the story. I don't think the story was trying to say anything bad but it was very irritating.

The mystery really sucked me in and I couldn't predict this one! I do remember Sisters Red was very predictable, I still enjoyed it but it was so predictable, and this one, to me, wasn't. So I really enjoyed that! The twists at the end and the message. There is gray morality. I really enjoyed the ending, which also picked up the pace and action. I can't say too much though because spoilers.

It did also give me some feels. Some awww moments, some laugh out loud moments, and a few tears as well.

So overall it wasn't perfect and I did have issues with it, but I really enjoyed other parts of it. If you love fairy-tale retellings maybe give this series a shot?

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