Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

By: Wendy Higgins
Published By: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Series: The Sweet Trilogy (#1)
Pages: 453
Genre: Paranormal
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: ALA Midwinter
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: 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 Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. 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?

I have to admit that I almost didn't read Sweet Evil because it seemed like so many other paranormal books. However, I'm so glad I gave it a chance. There was more depth to the book than I expected, and I enjoyed both the characters and the story.

Anna Whitt has always been a good girl, staying out of trouble and keeping her best friend out of trouble too. Even though she sometimes feels the pull of temptation, she always resists it - until she meets Kaidan Rowe. Kaidan is the one thing she can't resist, but there might be more to the attraction than his bad-boy exterior. Kaidan can sense that there is something more to Anna, and Anna looks to Kaidan to help her understand those things that she can't. But soon Anna and Kaidan will find themselves caught in a situation with higher stakes than they could have ever imagined. And in the end, what will triumph - good or evil?

There are lots of angel stories on the market right now, but Sweet Evil stands out for more reasons than one. I loved the angel and demon lore in this book. Though it mostly seems to be taken from Christianity, it is expanded in a way that both seemed plausible and left me wanting to know more. But more than that, there are so many characters to love. From Jay, who is typically a good guy (and thankfully doesn't make a pass for Anna), to the Nephilim who have their own inner battles or deep secrets, to Kaidan, a swoon-worthy British drummer, the characters make this book come to life. Kaidan especially is one of the guys you hate to love and love to hate - sometimes I wanted to smack sense into him, but at other times I couldn't help but want to hug him. And then there is Anna herself, who can feel the emotions of others and sometimes finds herself susceptible to them. Despite that, she has a quiet strength about her, and I am looking forward to seeing her come into her own more as the story progresses.

In some ways Sweet Evil seems like two stories in one; Anna comes to know who she truly is - and there may be a road trip involved - and then Anna has to put her knowledge to use. Even with both aspects of the story, however, Sweet Evil is a fast read. There are intense moments of both happiness and sorrow, as well as some edgy scenes - after all, we are talking about demons. All of these aspects blended together beautifully for an engaging read.

Sweet Evil is a fantastic debut from Wendy Higgins that has definitely set the stage for so much more to come. With memorable characters and angel lore, it is worth the read. I'm looking forward to the next book in the trilogy!


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