Goodreads: 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.
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.
What I Liked: 1) I loved the descriptions of all of the candy. It made me hungry and was not good for my sweet tooth! They were very vivid and fun descriptions. 2) Gretchen and Ansel. I thought these characters were written well. Their relationship as brother and sister was sweet, and their emotions were real and raw. 3) Samuel. I love the name Samuel. I liked him as a character too, he was the typical, moody, bad boy. I like those. :)
What I Didn't: 1) The story. That sounds too, all-encompassing. But I just didn't get into it. I try, when I read, to go in not having any expectations. It's a bit hard though, when the story is a re-telling of a classic like Hansel and Gretel. I felt like there was very little in Sweetly reminiscent of the old story by The Brothers' Grimm. It was disappointing. 2) There were many twists and turns in the story, which I normally like, but so many of them seemed out of left field. When I have to go back and re-read a few pages because something doesn't seem to make sense, it interrupts the flow of the story for me, and I find it hard to get back into it. This happened quite often during Sweetly. To the point of causing frustration. It's almost like, pausing a movie, and not coming back to it for a few days.
Overall thoughts: I was surprised by my reaction when I sat down to write this review. I think Miz Pearce is a talented writer, and I look forward to reading more of her stories. But I just wasn't excited about Sweetly. I never felt a part of the story, which is key for me to really get into it. Missed the mark for me.
My rating: 2 shots