Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

I was so lucky to get an ARC of "Sweetly" by Jackson Pearce. I have always loved Jackson Pearce, even before her first book, "As You Wish", was released. I read AYW in one day and read "Sisters Red" rather quickly, so I had high expectations for this book. I was not disappointed. "Sweetly" was one of the best books I have read. I like that there are similarities between SR and S, beyond the fact that they are fairy-tale spin offs. There is one sibling that is able to move on from tradgedy and live their own life, the other sibling is unable to do so and has to continue to do something. Personally, I would pick "Sweetly" over SR. It may just be because "Sweetly" had more romance in it, but I loved this story. I couldn't put it down. I found myself saying "I'll just read this next chapter, it's only x many pages, then I'll go do whatever" - and the next thing I knew, I had read four or more chapters.

What I liked most about this book, I think, was that Gretchen, while dedicated to fighting the "witch" and protecting the people she loves, she was also still able to have a life of her own. In SR, Scarlet was completely focused on fighting the Fenris, so much so that she never allowed herself to fall in love or have a hobby. But Gretchen still lets herself do that stuff. Throughout this novel we see Gretchen go from being a scared little girl to a strong woman that can defend herself and do what needs to be done.

However, I think this novel also illustrates another type of growth - a growth in the author. This novel really showed me a growth in Jackson Pearce's voice as an author. I think that Pearce has improved her writing skills since her first novel was released, and I wasn't sure if she could get any better. I'm not just saying this because she's one of my favorite authors or because I've met her. This novel made me so proud of her because of the sheer beauty of this novel. If this novel doesn't go to the New York Time's Best Seller List, I don't know what is wrong with America.

Job well done, Jackson Pearce. I am eager to see you go even farther in your career. "Sweetly" is definitely one of my favorite books and I am pretty sure I will be re-reading it sooner or later (and I NEVER re-read books)!

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