Ho-ly smokes! I thought Sisters Red was good, and then Jackson Pearce just cranks it up a notch with Sweetly. Her fairytale retellings are honestly KICK ASS. I thought Gretchen was just going to be this quiet little girl. I never assumed that she would becomes the hero until she was stuck in the forest again. But I also thought we'd hear from both Gretchen and Ansel (like in Sisters Red). It makes more sense to have just Gretchen, though. Ansel is her rock, the strong one in the brother-sister relationship. So it's Gretchen that we see grow and flourish into this brave young woman.With every new book, Jackson Pearce's characters become more complex. I don't think she's written a character like Sophia in previous books, so it was interesting to see an iceberg-like character. You see Sophia the chocolatier and what the community says about her, but there is so much more under the surface that is revealed as the story continues. There is no one like this in Sisters Red. Of course in Sisters Red, the only "baddies" are the Fenris.Another character that I was cautious of to begin with but grew on me was Samuel. He comes off as this crazy guy who just has it out for Sophia. Sure, I took partial-heed to his warning, but I was still questioning as to why he was so strange compared to everyone else in Live Oak. Meaning everyone else in Live Oak seemed to be from the usual small town in the southeastern United States. They make their gossip almost as important as their history. Of course, the Fenris are as awful as they were in Sisters Red. They didn't show up quite as often as they did in SR, which I think gave their big climactic scene even more power.There's always a bit of romance splashed in there. Gosh, I just love it. They're quick scenes, but not totally in an awkward teenage way. They're CUTE. Okay. I like cute scenes. It allows the characters to break away from the stress they're involved in or will soon be involved in. As I said previously, the action scenes are kick ass. Pearce doesn't hold back on how vicious these monsters are and how far the main characters will go to take down the Fenris.Other things:Last night, I went to Jackson's release of Sweetly. On the way home, I was thinking about sibling relationships in Young Adult fiction. It's very few and far between that you see siblings that are even somewhat close. Most main characters seem to be only children (ahem, John Green) or they are considerably older or younger than their siblings (Bermudez Triangle, Just Listen, Georgia Nicholson, Curseworkers). You could make the argument that there are a lot of siblingships (yeah, I'm keeping that), but for the most part, the siblings don't look out for one another like in Jackson's books. I mean, I truly relate to the narrators in Jackson's fairytale retelling because they have this protective outlook on their sibling. They're always protecting their sibling from something. Truth, darkness, bad monsters, and more. You just don't see too much of it in YA lit.Pretty much, go buy this book. There are candies, fortune tellers, Fenris, shotguns, motorcycles, a crazy old cat lady, and Robert E. Lee's riding boots.