Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guest Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce and Giveaway

Rebecca is a huge, HUGE fan of Halloween.  I, however, am not.  And in trying to figure out what in this beautiful world we live in I could do for Spooking The Spine, I came up with…
Yep, a big ole zero.  So, she suggested that I take over her blog (literally, I have her laptop and everything!) and post my review of Sweetly by Jackson Pearce.  Which is an awesome, not-quite-as-scary-as-a-horror-movie scary, and has…well, I can’t ruin it, you’ll just have to read it and find out what is so sweet about Sweetly!

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)
SWEETLY is a modernization of Hansel and Gretel and a companion book to SISTERS RED.

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.

Hardcover, 312 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Little, Brown
series: Fairytale Retellings #2

It is way past my bed time.  I should be asleep.  I should have been asleep a couple hours ago.  But Sweetly hooked me and I had to stay up and finish the book and write the review while I am still reeling from it.  Yes, it is that good.

My wife has been a huge fan of Jackson Pearce.  Subscribed to her YouTube channel and all that.  I honestly had never heard of her until Rebecca said that she was going to drive to Alpharetta, GA, to the release party for Sweetly.  So, I looked the book up and realized that I had to read this.  No questions, just read.  I bought it and never looked back.

Whiney characters get on my nerves.  It seems that YA lit is full of whiney teenage girls who mope about how crappy their lives are.  Gretchen is not one of those girls.  She is whiney, but she’s had a hard life and so it’s justifiable.  She puts her big girl panties on and grows up once in Live Oak, SC (is that really a place?  I’m gonna have to Google that one…).  There is so much growth in her character, more than most in her situation.  Ansel, who has always been Gretchen’s rock, comes back to planet Earth once they get settled in at Sophie’s chocolatier.  He has some changes happen, too, and makes him all the more endearing.

Things aren’t right with Sophia.  And Pearce is abundantly clear in the way she writes that Sophia has a secret.  And boy is it a doosie.  Ok, so she’s got several, and you’ll just have to read to find out what they are.  You’ll feel bad for her, and you’ll hate her.  I love when an author creates a character that I don’t have to like all the time.  It makes the whole story seem more real.  Kudos, Ms. Pearce.

So, I read Sweetly in about two sittings.  It flowed nicely and quickly.  There were some slow parts, usually when there was character building and such, but when the action happened… man!  You better be prepared to hold your breath and take short breaks to get some oxygen to your brain, because there were several times I just couldn’t breathe!

There is so much awesomeness contained within Sweetly that writing a review without spoilers has been difficult.  Suffice it to say, this is on my Best of 2011 shelf.  Now go out and buy it!

tree treetreetreetree
5 Trees: Wickedly awesome.  A sweet read.

Get to reading,
About the reviewer:
Richard is a full time husband, father, and part-time book blogger.  He’s also a full-time book nerd.  Or geek.  Either way, he’s one cool daddy-o (at least his kids think so!).

You can stalk him here:

Giveaway Time!
Up for grabs is one signed copy of Sweetly!
This is me getting your future copy signed (if you win).
  • There will be one winner.
  • This giveaway is open to anyone over the age of 13.
  • This giveaway is open to US and Canada.
  • You do not have to be a follower to enter, though it is always appreciated, please let me know if you are a new follower so I can check out your blog.
  • Giveaway will run from October 15, 2011 to October 29, 2011
  • Winner will be chosen by
  • Winner must contact me with mailing address within 48hours of being chosen or give up prize to next chosen winner.
  • To enter fill out: THIS FORM

Good Luck,


  1. This seems like the perfect book to be reading on Halloween. I'm a big fan of Jackson Pearce, too, so I've really got to read this.

  2. Oh I can't stand whiny characters also I get so annoyed by them, especially since it's all you see in so many YA novels. Glad to know this one is not so :) Great review I've been looking forward to this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Xpresso Reads

  3. A modern Hansel and Gretel? I'll be checking this book too and true, I also can't stand whiny characters.

  4. This book sounds great! I've seen it around but never knew what it was about. I need to read it now!

  5. Great guest post! Thanks for the giveaway. :)


Thanks so much for the comment love!