Happy Friday-before-Halloween, Figbursts! Just in case your costume-stylin’, trick-or-treating fun ends a little early this week (Halloween on a school night? Lame.) we wanted to leave you with a super awesome recommendation to keep you spooked.
And our Halloween Book Recommendation of the Week is Sweetly by Jackson Pearce! Sweetly is a tale inspired by Hansel and Gretel. It’s the companion to Pearce’s Sisters Red, but you don’t need to read one to love the other (though you should read both because no one retells fairytales like Jackson Pearce). This story follows siblings Ansel and Gretchen as they travel to Live Oak, South Carolina, years after Gretchen’s twin was kidnapped. Ansel and Gretchen stay with a beautiful candymaker and, just when everything seems sweet, Gretchen learns from studly outcast Samuel that the witch who took her sister once upon a time ago has returned–to capture Gretchen this time.
Let’s see where Sweetly falls on Figment’s Spooky Scale of Awesome:
+130 for Gretchen having guts. After her twin sister is kidnapped, Gretchen grows from a bookish little girl into a kick ass heroine who isn’t afraid to bleed her own blood and learn how to use a gun! Lock and load, Gretchen!
-13 points for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. I just had a tooth pulled and promised my dentist I would be better about my teeth and as I read Sweetly, I broke that promise. This book gets you craving all sorts of sweets! Come on, there’s a Chocolate Festival!
+1300 for cover art. Don’t judge a book by its cover? Too late. This cover has been both judged and loved. Neil Swaab’s cover art absolutely puts you under the same thrall as the classic Hansel and Gretel duo when they’re offered candy; you pick it up, you relish in how deliciously sweet it is, and then you’re eaten up . . . a little bit on the inside when it’s done.
-130 for awful parenting. Stepmothers are always terrible and evil, right? That’s a fairy tale must-have. So no points were deducted for respecting tradition. Points were axed because the father is STILL ALIVE and breathing when Ansel and Gretchen are thrown out of the house by the evil stepmother! Dad, I know you’re grieving your wife’s death from a bajillion years ago (Don’t think I didn’t notice that Dead Parent, YA. Watching you.) but if you have it in you to remarry, you should be conscious enough to defend your children from being cast out of their own home! Jesus.
+133 for setting. Live Oak, South Carolina just sounds magical. Best part? It’s real. I sense a Figment Field Day trip coming up.
This brings Sweetly to a total of 1,420 points! If you want to wait until you have all your cavity-causing candy on Monday to start reading, that’s totally cool with us–this book absolutely gets you craving lollipops and chocolate bars.
Disclaimer: Figment cannot be blamed for any root canals you may need to have after reading Sweetly—Jackson Pearce is one hundred percent to blame for treating us all to such a delicious novel. OM NOM NOM.