Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce is a companion novel to last years Sisters Red which I absolutely adored (read my review of SR) . I had incredibly high hopes for Sweetly because of how much I loved SR and while I did really enjoy Sweetly, I liked Sisters Red better.

But, I don't like reviews that compare one book to another, rather than judging or whatever on their own merit, so that is all I'm going to say on that subject.

There was a lot I really liked about this book. The characters were very real to me, and my heart went out to these two siblings even while I thought their relationship was perhaps a bit... unhealthy. That much co-dependence on another person is never really a great idea. But I also, in a way, understood it. Gretchen and Ansel have been blamed their whole lives for the disappearance/death of Gretchen's twin sister. They were chased through the woods by some wicked bad nasty & when they emerged from the trees, the three had become two and nothing would ever be the same.

Gretchen is terrified of the woods and she has never gotten over the loss of her twin. None of them have. They won't even speak her name. Older now, Gretchen and Ansel are kicked out of the house and start to drive. They have a semi-destination in mind, but ultimately decide to stop and stay where their car broke down, at least for a little while. And here starts the mystery.

If you've read the synopsis, you know it involves Sophia, who owns a candy shop and something mysterious and a town who hates Sophia. You have to try and figure out all of the mysteries surrounding the dying town, Sophia, the witches in the woods (that chased the three kids years ago) and more.

Although Pearce's version of Hansel and Gretel is very unique and original, I found it to be predictable. I had all of the big reveals figured out early on in the story and I can't think of much, if anything, that surprised me while I was reading. However, as I have mentioned before (my Fairy Tale Fortnight post) , I am very forgiving of predictable fairy tale retellings. I don't care if it's the most original retelling I've read, using almost nothing from the original, or if it follows the outline perfectly, merely adding extra detail. If I know a book is a fairy tale retelling, I find I am hugely forgiving. So the predictability here didn't bother me at all.

Even with a fairly predictable plot, Pearce still managed to create characters that I cared about, characters that I felt had a lot to offer and the characters themselves were developed and unique. I enjoyed reading about each of them and I loved watching them learn and grow and change.

It's a very well written book, one that, although didn't quite live up to my expectations, I am very glad to have read and think it's a good follow-up to Sisters Red. I am very excited for the third fairy tale companion, which I believe Pearce said will be a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I'm SO stoked!:)

Also, if nothing else, this book will also make you crave skittles. (I'm not lying either... I had to go buy a bag after reading this book and I craved them for days.)

*Disclaimer: Borrowed a copy through Around the World Tours.