Posted on Dark Faerie Tales.Sweetly, the second book of the Fairytale Retellings series, Jackson Pearce tells her version of Hansel and Gretel. Like true Pearce fashion, she puts a twist in the story, truly making it her own in every way possible. And with the Fairytale Retellings series, I have to talk about the cover. The cover is eerily gorgeous, filled with branches twisting out to show you a not-so-hidden picture of a smirking face. It’s amazing and I instantly saw how far Pearce was going to go with the dark and scary.Twelve years ago, a witch haunted the woods. Twelve years ago, Gretchen lost her twin and Ansel lost her sister, and a pair of yellow eyes changed their lives forever. As a result of the witch in the woods, Gretchen and Ansel’s family fell apart. Mourning and sadness left them to relocate to South Carolina. What seemed like a simple and quiet town, Live Oak, South Carolina had its own share of secrets and tragedy. Willing to start over Gretchen and Ansel found themselves on the doorsteps of Sophia Kelley, a candy maker all alone in the woods. Willing to forget their past, Ansel and Gretchen vow to start over. But once again, there is something dangerous lurking in the woods, one that has been affecting the small town for years now. Gretchen is determined to forget her past and fight back. But once she finds out what is going on, it might be too late.Gretchen wasn’t someone that I instantly warmed up to. I automatically compared her to Scarlett from Sisters Red, and unfairly so. Losing a twin is tragic, not something that I could ever imagine, but I felt that Gretchen was stuck in the past. Gretchen struggles with why her sister was taken and why she was spared, waiting for the witch to catch up to her and take her as well. Despite where Gretchen is, she feels that the witch is waiting around the corner to take her as well. There is a turning point, when Gretchen finds her strength. She finally stands up for herself and takes the proper actions in protecting herself. This is the Gretchen that I love.Pearce makes Ansel a supporting character, and I thought that was smart. It is clear that Gretchen is the main character, and that clearly sets it apart from any fairytale that Sweetly is based on. Ansel wasn’t someone that I really got to know, aside from the fact that Gretchen depended on him. I actually loved Sophia more. Sophia was full of secrets, having two different personalities. As a reader, I already saw the writing on the wall, but couldn’t wait to see how it would unfold. I was always at the edge of my seat trying to find out what would happen with Sophia and why she would do it. I loved the suspense!In true Pearce fashion, the world of Sweetly was amazing. Each detail added to the depth of darkness that Pearce took it to. What should be a sweet fairytale was the exact opposite, showcasing the dark and evil lurkings behind closed doors. It made for a fantastic read filled with many surprises. There is a poetic justice about Pearce’s writing that had me engaged at all times. Even if I didn’t particularly like the character, their actions, or the specific scene, I always found myself wanting to read another word, another page, or another chapter. But isn’t that the workings of a great author? And the ending! Well, I can’t really talk about my favorite scenes, for it will spoil some surprises, but just trust me on this, Sweetly is worth the read!