Christine: I adore Jackson Pearce. Honestly, if you watch even one of her vlogs, you’ll feel the same way. She’s just so cute and perky and her dog is possibly the cutest dog EVER. So of course I have to read everything she’s written. How can someone be so adorable and NOT write great stories?

With Sweetly, I think Jackson’s outdone herself. I absolutely LOVED it. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from reading the summary, but I like not knowing everything about a book before I read it, so the twisty plot was fun for me.

Caitlin: Sweetly was very different from what I was expecting as well. I’d been under the impression that, while being marketed as a companion book to Sisters Red, it wouldn’t be a sequel. It would be a completely different modern retelling of a fairy tale. I very much liked how connected the two books were but it took me completely by surprise.

Also, this book made me want candy and baking more than anything else I have ever read. Ever. Even just thinking about it makes me need something yummy and sweet. NOW.

Christine: Yes, chocolate is a must have when reading this. There were some orange gummy things being described at one point and they were all I could think about from that point on.

As for the connection between the books, I knew there was going to be one but when I started theorizing what it could be and it turned out to be right, I loved it. Totally freaked out, as evidenced by my notes and the many exclamation marks used. Once that main connection was made between the books, I couldn’t stop reading it.

Caitlin: I enjoyed that connection and it makes me wonder about the next book, which I thought was set up very nicely, but will there be a third…uh…person (my attempt at not spoiling….) as a love interest? I mean, there certainly are enough of those…people. And and and!!! I can’t keep the idea out of my head that the third book will unite the main characters from Sisters Red and Sweetly. At least briefly. It could be fun.

As far as Sweetly is concerned, what made it un-out-downable to me was Sophia. She was such an intriguing character and Jackson did a good job of keeping her and her motivations a mystery.

Christine: It would be FANTASTIC if the third book or …person united the characters from Sisters Red and Sweetly. I can totally see Scarlet and Ansel getting together. Hah.

As for Sophia, I was constantly second-guessing her. The theories surrounded her varied and I couldn’t nail anything down until the moment it was all revealed. She was the centerpiece character, though the story is told through Gretchen’s eyes, because you couldn’t take your eyes off her. (And neither could Gretchen or Ansel.)

I also really liked how this book was a bit darker than her previous works. It’s meant for an older teen audience, I feel, but that doesn’t mean younger readers can’t enjoy it. There’s just a darker cloud hovering over Gretchen and Ansel than I saw in Sisters Red with Scarlet and Rosie. I think a large part of that had to do with Silas, who brought humor to what could have been a bad situation in Sisters Red. Instead of Silas, we have Sophia and her trickster ways. I’m still convinced her candy and chocolate has LSD or some other mood altering drug in them.

Caitlin: Oh! I loved the scene with Ansel and his ring, how he couldn’t get it off. Sophia was totally fattening him up! Though, it never really came to anything, it made me chuckle.

I will say, I was a little disappointed with what the witch turned out to be. I was hoping for…you know…a witch. And some attempted cannibalism. Though, if a witch tries to eat a human, is it cannibalism?

Well, whatever. I wanted a witch, not…well, not what it turned out to be.

Christine: So what it really comes down to is I loved the book and Caitlin was upset there was not an actual witch. Does that about sum it up?

Caitlin: Yeah. This pretty much sums how I feel about most books. No witches? Not my favourite then.

Christine: It’s been said before elsewhere, but you don’t necessarily need to read Sisters Red before Sweetly. It makes slightly more sense if you do, but it’s not a direct series. And Sweetly is out in bookstores worldwide, so you have no excuse not to read it immediately. Unless of course you’re reading Sisters Red. Then I’ll give you a day before you have to read Sweetly. Sound fair?

Should you want to discuss Sweetly in the comments, I’m completely for that. Not being spoilery in the review was very hard and I so want to gush about several things. So if you haven’t read Sweetly, I would divert my eyes from the comment section.

Now go watch Jackson Pearce try to be a circus performer.

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