Synopses & Reviews
The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go.
As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear too.
Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.
Life seems idyllic, and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival each year, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet, the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.
Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
"Pearce returns to the world of Sisters Red in this twist on 'Hansel and Gretel.' Ansel and Gretchen Kassel are survivors. A yellow-eyed witch stole Gretchen's twin sister years ago while the children were exploring the forest, and ever since, brother and sister have lived with guilt and the certain knowledge that the witch will return. After their father dies and their stepmother turns them out, Ansel and Gretchen head east, getting stranded in Live Oak, S.C., when their car breaks down. The locals seem hostile except for Sophia Kelly, proprietor of a sweet shop in the woods. Ansel is enamored, but Gretchen can't quite let down her guard. Her fears are justified when she sees yellow eyes in the woods again, 3,000 miles from home. The story revisits several themes from Sisters Red, including sibling bonds and betrayals, the loss of childhood innocence, and the sharp teeth of the big, bad world. Gretchen is a more nuanced character than the earlier book's Scarlett or Rosie, and her relationship with Ansel doesn't suffer quite as much from the trials they face together. Ages 15 up. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"It is easy to care what happens to these characters, even when readers are left wondering who is on the right side and who is not...will still satisfy readers looking for a thrill."--VOYA
As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch-like monster in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too.
When their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out as teens, they stumble upon a sleepy Southern town and are invited to stay with Sophia Kelly at her sweet shop. Sophia molds candied magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.
Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel finally start to forget their haunted past - until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel, who gives Gretchen a reason to fear Sophia: girls have been vanishing at Sophia's annual chocolate festival, taken by the insatiable 'witch' of Gretchen's nightmares. Can Gretchen save herself, the girls of Live Oak, "and"Sophia?
Of one thing, Gretchen is certain: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
About the Author
Jackson Pearce is the author of Purity, Sisters Red
, and As You Wish.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.