Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown
Adult Content: a little gore
Keywords: witch, werewolves, disappearance, fairytale
Star Rating: *
Word Rating: a bad-bad book
Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.(courtesy of Goodreads)
Years later, after being thrown out of their house, Gretchen and Ansel find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, a place on the verge of becoming a ghost town. They move in with Sophia Kelly, a young and beautiful chocolatier owner who opens not only her home, but her heart to Gretchen and Ansel.
Yet the witch isn’t gone—it’s here, lurking in the forests of Live Oak, preying on Live Oak girls every year after Sophia Kelly’s infamous chocolate festival. But Gretchen is determined to stop running from witches in the forest, and start fighting back. Alongside Samuel Reynolds, a boy as quick with a gun as he is a sarcastic remark, Gretchen digs deeper into the mystery of not only what the witch is, but how it chooses its victims. Yet the further she investigates, the more she finds herself wondering who the real monster is, and if love can be as deadly as it is beautiful.
This book was a disappointment. On the face of it, Sweeetly seems to be an intriguing tale of a young girl getting over the disappearance of her sister, and her determination to stop it from happening again. Okay, fine. Great. But what really ruined it for me was Pearce's decision to turn a perfectly good fairytale (Handsel and Gretel - notice the cheesy similarity in names?) into - wait for it - another paranormal romance. Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of vampires and werewolves and goodness knows what, but you'd think that the world had enough of them already, without everyone writing more.
See what I mean? Or maybe you don't, and I've just lost your good opinion for ever. Well, sorry. But the world's obsession with Edward and Jacob lookalikes and Twilight spin-offs is starting to irritate me. And the thing is: Sweetly could've been pretty good if it hadn't gone off on the 'oh, let's do paranormal romance' thing. It's more than a little disappointing.
Having said that, I'm sure this book is going to be very popular, because I know there are lots of you out there who can't get enough paranormal romances. And that's fine - we all get into reading-moods where all we want to read is a certain type of book. And this is a nice, interesting one, if you're looking for that kind of thing.
So if you want a paranormal romance, read this. If not, there are plenty of other, much better books out there waiting to be read!