Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date:  May 1st 2012
 Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: HarperTeen/Author Giveaway
Format: Paperback
Goodreads Summary: 
What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

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 will-power 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?
My Review:
To say that Sweet Evil is not your typical YA paranormal romance would be an understatement. Sweet Evil really stands out and has to be one of the most uniquely crafted Angel books out there right now. It is just, well, different. Different in a good way. No, scratch the last statement. It's different in an amazing way. The manner in which the author of this book tackles the romance, the angel lore, and the plot is truly unmatched and quite special. And even though Sweet Evil is immersed in the paranormal it has a realistic feel. It read like contemporary fiction sometimes which was something I had never encountered before. Why? Well, because Wendy Higgins tackles a lot of the issues that face so many young people today and granted with the paranormal elements of the book these issues are heightened but nevertheless remain so true to what happens on a day-to-day basis in our current society. 
The characterization in Sweet Evil is just top notch. Our female lead, Anna Whitt, is a rather sweet and normal girl, that is until the reader learns that she is actually nephilim, the daughter of an angel and demon, and that can sense the feelings and auras of others. What I loved about Anna in this book is that yes she is really sweet but it doesn't mean she tries to be perfect all the time. Anna definitely faces a lot of temptation to go off the deep end and try dangerous things because of her angelic/demonic heritage and her inner emotional conflict was hard. Kaidan Rowe on the other hand, our male lead, is a total bad boy who is charming with good looks, cute witticisms, and a British accent that makes all the girls swoon. And on the surface he may seem like a shallow person who is a bit disconnected and a player but when we get to learn more about his story, we soon learn that he is also nephilim with the charge of influencing others to behave badly and that he has a hidden struggle and desire to maybe not lead the life he is forced to live because of who his father is (head demon with no morals).

The secondary characters in this novel just shine, in my opinion. Wendy Higgins makes sure to make the family and friends of the main characters an integral part of the story and it was really refreshing. Many YA paranormal romances get so caught up in the romantic lives of the main characters that they choose to ignore the social and familial life of the female and male leads and kinda lose what to me is a very important aspect to cover in a young adult book.

What I loved the most about Sweet Evil has to be the world-building. The angel lore in this book was just amazing. It had that rich detail to it that books like Dante's Inferno or films like Constantine have. It really delves deep into the classifications of angels, demons, their offspring and everything in between and truly embodies the classic, good vs evil, power struggle. Everything just felt epic and like it was either life or death. And even though many YA angel books do have this dilemma, it doesn't quite always feel as dangerous and important because they tend to lose themselves in the romance and sometimes ignore the paranormal elements of the story.

I also have to say that the romance in this book was just so well done. It felt real and raw. Yes, Anna and Kaidan have an extreme chemistry and a lot of tension and passion and they get to go on a road trip and it was one of the best parts of the book BUT because of their angelic/demonic origins they face a lot of challenges. And I thought that it was impressive that unlike many YA paranormal romances they did not get lost in their love and forgot to live. And even though they liked each other from the start, they didn't give into it that quickly. It took a bit of time because like every relationship their is a hesitance of "is this person playing me?" or "if I get into this relationship will I lose myself and ignore everything around me" and so on. Like in real life, their relationship faces challenges and it's not always smooth sailing because when you are dealing with matters of heaven or hell, how could things be simple, right? With the stakes so high, it is impossible to work everything out and just face the world together. It is always a challenge and in this book that challenge was represented really well through Kaidan and Anna's relationship. 
And honestly the villains in this book were so scary that how could everything be rainbows for Anna and Kaidan. The evil characters in Sweet Evil are so cruel and defying that they make Voldemort and Darth Vader look like new born puppies who like to roll around the grass in the park chasing after a Frisbee. This book was just flawless and an incredible debut novel.

My Rating: 5/5


  1. oh wow, those sound like some pretty evil villians. I love it!! And I like that the romance didn't happen RIGHT away. those types of stories are not very realistic to me, and it just keeps showing up in YA these days, which I hate. I like that they focus on the world-building and family/friends as well. Important elements, paranormal novel or not. Great review.


    1. Thanks so much, Lauren. Glad you liked it :)

      Yes! The villains in this book are something else. Well crafted and rotten to the core. And yup, no insta love in this one & friends/fam are integral to the story. It really is a great book ;)

  2. I love how you describe the evil characters, I've had my eye on this one for a while and I keep hearing how wonderful it is and after your review I know I have to buy this.

    1. Thank you. Yea, the evil characters in this book are out of this world. Crazy scary and devious. And yay for getting Sweet Evil.

      This book really lives up to the reputation it has garnered pre-release. Sooo good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and happy reading ;)

  3. JEN! I'm SO happy that you're joining the huge club of people who are ready to bow down to Wendy Higgins for writing such a brilliant angel book -- we couldn't be happier to have you! :') I agree with everything you said in your review. This book is made up with more than just an amazing plot -- it also has amazing characters, and amazing writing, and amazing world-building, and a totally amazing and swoon-worthy British boy! x) Watching Anna and Kai's road trip was just so sweet and smile-worthy! :')

    Amazingly beautiful review, Jen! You have such a gorgeous way of writing -- if I hadn't already read & loved this book, your review would've convinced me for sure! :) <3

    1. Aw, Mimi *blog blushes*

      Thanks so much for your words, doll <3. That is quite the compliment. I'm so flattered that you think so. Thanks again =)

      And yayy. So honored to join you fellow Sweet Evil fans, *woohoo* :) It was so amazing. Agreed. I loved it!

  4. Sweet Evil! <3 <3 I also absolutely adored the characterization and the world building. So well done, it fell perfectly along the book! :) And the love story was really something, too.

    Great review, Jennifer! Makes me want to read the book again <3

    1. I know, right? the love story was really great. Such a great book! <3

      Thanks so much for your words, Sophie. What a lovely compliment :)

  5. This sounds like a book that I would love and I can't wait to read it. Great review. Your character descriptions are terrific.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that :)

      It really was a great book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get the chance to read it.


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