“Seriously, I Will Read Your Book”
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Young adult author Jackson Pearce takes the reader deep into the woods where monsters and witches leave a candy trail the reader can’t ignore.
By Jackson Pearce
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 23, 2011)
Back cover: 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.
Lara’s Review: Ready to leave the memory of their lost sister behind, Gretchen and Ansel leave the dark woods of Washington and head to the east coast. But, along the way they get sidetracked by Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker, . Her magic candy, charm and beauty seem to ease the years of mourning and sorrow. Gretchen grows in ways she never expected and she learns that the woods of South Carolina have witches of their own. With the help of local woodsman, Samuel, and the budding friendship with Sophia, Gretchen discovers what happened to her sister and who she will become.
I was interested to see where Jackson Pearce would take the Fenris story. Sweetly, the second book to Sisters Red, did not let me down. Gretchen and Ansel are both marred by the disappearance of their sister, but each have dealt with the loss in different ways. Her friendship with Sophia and the strength she acquires by becoming her own person gives her a freedom she never felt before. Gretchen’s thoughts and emotions lead to believable decisions. This leads to the ultimate discovery of what is lurking in the woods and how to fight back. This is an excellent read. I would definitely recommend this book.
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