Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins: A Little Too Sweet For Me

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Title: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: May 1 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 450
Source: Won in a Goodreads Giveaway
Read: August 12-15 2012
In A Few Words: Sweet, a bit sappy

Goodreads Synopsis:  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?

Melissa's Musings:

There are a lot of good things about this book. And then there are some that aren't so great.  I have mixed feelings about this book. I did like it, but it wasn't absolutely the most amazing book I've ever read. 

I really enjoyed how the supernatural elements/abilities are presented in this book. Higgins did a nice job of integrating them naturally. They weren't necessarily "introduced" so to speak as they can be in other stories. They were just a normal part of Anna's life, (for Anna anyway.) She wasn't awkward when she was describing them. The choice of powers is nice too. Being able to see the colors of a person's aura isn't something I've read in a lot of stories as of late so that was refreshing. 

For as much  simplicity that Anna talks about her powers with, she is oversensitive about everything else. The major drawback of this book is that Anna cries so much. She cries. And cries.  All.The.Time. I understand that it's part of her struggle to come to terms with what she is and what she has to go through, but it just got old fast. Even Anna knows that she cries too much. I forgot to mark down the page number where this is said, but Anna says, "For once, my eyes stayed dry." When even the character knows she cries too much, you know you have a problem.

I also didn't see enough growth from Anna to be really satisfied with her as a  character.She's just too sweet, too vulnerable, too innocent, especially to be thrown into the world of sins, temptations and demons. In addition to her constant crying, she's just whiny and mopey when it comes to Kaidan, always wanting to sneak him phone calls and pining after him. I was hoping that her having to change her look and personality a bit for her training might help her to realize that she doesn't have to be so reliant on him to feel good. Unfortunately that didn't happen.

The romance in the book is sweet. There is a love triangle, which seems to be typical of so many YA books these days. If I absolutely have to choose a team, I'm team Kaidan. I honestly don't even see a need for the triangle though, because the dynamic between Kaidan and Anna is complicated enough, since Neph are forbidden from falling in love and risk being killed if they are found out. 

There are a lot of serious social issues in this book. It's crammed full of them actually. It's not overdone though, just surprising to see the range of issues that are dealt with. The main issue is religion, seeing as there's lots of talk about temptation, sins, hell, etc. I liked how this is talked about in a simplified way that's not overly "preachy"

In addition to the aspect of religion, this also touches on adoption, drugs, date rape, abortion, prostitution, and involuntary sterilization to name just a few. They aren't mentioned in great detail or anything, but that's a lot of issues to even just mention in one book.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. It's unfortunate that the second book in the series hasn't been picked up because I'm really curious to see what happens. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a fast read with a likeable main couple.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it?

*Please note I won this title in a giveaway from the Goodreads First Reads program.


Anonymous said...

I really want to read this book. I liked the title, cover, and it is in in my genre. I wonder if I'll find it too sappy too?


Melissa said...

I'm curious to see your thoughts on it. :)

kimbacaffeinate said...

I enjoyed this one and am hoping we see many of your concerns addressed in book two. Yeah it was sappy but its YA..LOL

Melissa said...


LOL that's true I guess I forgot about the fact that it's YA when considering the sappiness factor.

Anonymous said...

Do you normally review adult?


Melissa said...

@ K8:
I review a little bit of everything, really.

Anonymous said...

That's cool :)

I'm mostly YA though I'll read MG and adult if it catches me :)