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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 453 pages

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


Review:

Protagonist: In the beginning of this book I was really put off by Anna's naivete and sheltered life. The time that this annoyed me most was when Anna went to her first high school party. I was a fairly sheltered child myself, spending up until high school in a private Christian school, but it just baffles me that Anna is 16 and so sheltered that when she overhears some suspicious talk she doesn't come to a logical conclusion. Anna gets better though. Throughout the book she grows and while she still retains a bit of her southern good girl charm at the end of the book, her eyes are open to all the dangers and she kind of reminds me of myself when I entered high school. Except her experience started from a much more sheltered place than mine did. All in all, by the end of the book I really liked Anna, she is a strongly written character, and I'm excited to see how her story will continue to unfold.

Romance: The romance of this book was something that I was really worried about. After watching the trailer for this book, I had it in my head that this was going to be a book about a "good" girl who gets introduced to the "delights" of sin by a "bad" boy. It jut seemed like it would be a bit of a wrong message to those reading. However, as I was really impressed with the chemistry between Anna and Kai. They seemed to even each other out in a way I can hardly even begin to explain. While Kaidan does exude some, Edward Cullen like, "I'm bad for you stay away from me" tendencies I found it hard to fault him for it. There is a love-triangle of sorts. I say of sorts because I find it hard to take it seriously when Kai is on the cover of all of the books. If I had read this right after it had some out I might have taken it more seriously, but upon seeing even the cover of the second book I would have taken it much less seriously.

World-Building: Angel lore books are sort of the unsung heroes of the YA genre. There are a bunch of them out there, yet the genre hasn't entered "phenomenon" mode like vampire lore and dystopian books have. However, while there are a lot of angel lore books, this has to be so far the best in terms of world-building. I loved how the Nephilim are presented in this book, as those who do their father's sinful work, and not all of them enjoy it, in fact there are some who despise it but have to for fear of their unloving father's vengeful wrath. I also liked how the Christianity aspect was presented. Like I stated above I went to a Christian school for most of my life and am in fact Lutheran Christian for those who don't know, and the Christianity element and beliefs that Anna and her adoptive mother have in this book was very close to my own beliefs, and I've never really seen a YA book, even an angel lore book, tackle the religion aspect so well. For those who have religions or lack thereof that differ from Christianity don't fear, this book is in no way preachy nor does it try to push any sort of religion upon the reader. It's just a fantastic approach to angel lore.

Predictability: I was fairly shocked throughout this book. It may have to do with my low expectations or preconceived notions about this book, but for the most part I found myself profoundly shocked when appropriate. Of course as always there were moment's when Anna, as the blind good girl she is fails to see, or hear something that she just can't fully understand and I found myself yelling at the book, or really my mp3 player since it was an audiobook, because it was something that I no longer being sheltered could plainly see coming a mile away. However, what I couldn't see far outweighed what I could which made for a very compelling story.

Ending: The ending had a very somber feel to it. It ends the plot for this book, but not the overall story which is so satisfying in the first book of a series. I will say though that while the main plot does provide a small amount of closure, there are many things left open which may or may not attribute to any hastiness to read the next book in this series. It does end on a small cliffhanger and with the next book in the series already out, I'd advise that if you're reading this and about 1/2-3/4 of the way through and think that you'll probably read the next book that's a good sign to order or go out and buy it as soon as possible, because even as I type this I really want to continue on with this series, but unfortunately there are other books i have to read first.

Rating:


I'll say it, I was so wrong about this book. I really enjoyed this book and I'm happy I did. I'd seen that a lot of blogs I follow and a couple of my friends really liked this book and I knew I had to give it a chance. While I had some problems with it, mainly Anna's naivete and the love triangle that I can't even begin to take seriously, I really loved this book and would recommend it for anyone who loves angel lore books or just wants to read a love story where the couple has nearly tangible chemistry.

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