August 23rd 2011/October 6th 2011
Little, Brown/ Hodder
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.
I'm not quite sure why, but I really love these fairytale retellings. There's just something special about them, something that makes them stand out for me in the whole of the paranormal market. I love the heroines, and the monsters, and the boys, and the stories, and I just think that they're good books, ya know?
I think one of the main things for me, is the standalone nature. I love that each book is a whole story with a beginning, a middle and an end, and it's not just all set up or whatever, which is the main thing that annoys me about series. It takes, like, 3 or so books just to get through 1 story that could have easily been told in just as many books. And Paranormal series kind of just annoy me anyway, because a lot of the time they just drag stuff out. I like things that get to the point, which I am currently failing at. So, yeah. It's kind of refreshing to see that, even though it's kind of technically a series because they're set in the same world.
Another thing I really like are the heroines. Scarlett and Rosie were BA in Sister's Red, and Gretchen certainly followed in that way. She developed loads over the course of the book, going from the girl that's cared of wolves and witches to the girl with the gun that kills them. She doesn't shy away from the guy with the gun, or wait for him to protect her, she asks him to teach her how to use one herself, and they go off and be bad ass together. I loved her drive, and how she changed and grew over the story.
I really like how the romance is never really the main aspect of the book. It kind of irritates me when the whole plot of a book is just forbidden romance, because then it gets all sappy, and they spend all the time kissing (none of which I'm saying are BAD things, just that they're things I need to take a break from occaisionally ;p) and in these books (and loads of other awesome amazing books) there's an actual plot apart from the romance. But the romance was really good too, and I loved Samuel! I thought he was awesome, and he respected Gretchen, and he didn't do that whole 'Oh-You're-So-Adorable *patronisepatronisepatronise* things that LOADS of paranormal boys do! (No joke, it is SO frustrating. I want to hit them a little.) and he was just a pretty nice guy. #TeamNICEGUY
So yeah. Sweetly, in a word, was pretty darn awesome. If you liked Sister's Red, READ THIS NOW. If you like fairytale retellings, and a whole new take on werewolf mythology, and a slow burning story that when it really gets into it, you won't be able to put it down, then ya'll should read this. Soon. ;)
*note, sorry if this is a bit all over the place. It's late. My brain is all SLEEEEEEEPPPPP NOW PLEASE so yeah. Excuses, excuses ;)